Project B.R.A.I.N. Currents
Volume XI, Issue 1 SPRING 2010
Launching an Interactive Workshop for the Athletic Communities
Project BRAIN is proud to introduce a new session specially designed for coaches, athletic
trainers, athletes, parents and others to learn more about concussion and sports-related head
injury. Including some basics about brain injury and the developing brain taken from “Brain Injury
101,” the coaches’ workshop will also provide suggested answers to key questions, such as:
Q - Is a concussion a serious injury?
A - Yes - a concussion is a brain injury and all are serious.
Q - What to look for to know if a player is really hurt?
A - Watch for a forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement of
the head & any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.
Q - What should I do to assess my athlete on the sideline?
A - Observe the athlete to see if he/she appears dazed or stunned, forgets instruction, loses
consciousness, can’t recall events prior to or after the hit.
Q - When do I take a player out of the game?
A - If you suspect an athlete has a concussion, remove the athlete from play. “When in doubt,
keep them out.”
Q - How long should we wait until the athlete can return?
A - Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a healthcare professional,
experienced in evaluating for concussions, says they are symptom-free and it is okay to return to
play. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the
fact sheet on concussion.
In addition to providing a foundation to understanding brain injury in students and answering
tough questions, the coaches who complete the training will participate in Athletic Concussion
Training for Coaches (ACTive). The twenty-minute online program walks coaches through a
series of examples of sports injuries and lets them make the call. ACTive’s interactive and fast-
paced session features coaches who explain the safe and correct way to manage sports injuries.
Participants will receive informative handouts and quick references that will serve as helpful
reminders as well as a certificate of completion from Project BRAIN and ACTive. For your
coaches to receive the training, contact Project BRAIN.
Did You Know?
Sports with the highest percentage of concussions:
40.5 % Football
21.5 % Girls Soccer
15.4 % Boys Soccer
9.5 % Girls Basketball
4.3 % Wrestling
2.8 % Boys Basketball
2.6 % Softball
Source: Gessel, LM, Fields, SK, Collins, MA, Dick, RW, & Comstock, RD (2007).Concussions
among United States high school and collegiate athletes, Journal of Athletic Training, 42 495-503
When to Get Back in the Game? Return to Play
The goal for every coach is to protect the athlete from being injured. Important to remember is
that you don’t have to be hit on the head to have a concussion. It can be caused by a bump,
blow or jolt. If the athlete has a concussion, here are a few simple rules to follow when to return
to play: if in doubt keep them out, stand tall and make the call and it is never okay to return-to-
play without the doctor’s permission.
Easy Sideline Assessment:
3 word recall (red, sailboat & computer)
months of the year in reverse,
3 digits in reverse and
repeat first recall test
If a coach is unable to monitor the athlete, then someone on the sideline should be responsible
for the player. For more information on return-to-play suggestions, visit:
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Brain Injury Update - A FREE Annual Education Opportunity
West Tennessee Rehabilitation Center hosted a FREE brain injury conference entitled Brain
Injury Update 2010 on Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Jackson, Tennessee. The morning track
featured a sports-oriented theme including on-the-field assessment of sports concussions and
chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football.
The afternoon session appealed to a wide range of attendees as it had sessions about a possible
new treatment for intractable seizures, about the educational aspects of traumatic brain injury in
the school system and about behavioral intervention strategies usable by the general public.
CEU’s were available for several different disciplines and there were 116 survivors and
professionals in attendance.
This is an annual conference held each year depending on funding availability. Please call Laura
Mills at (731) 541-4941 if you would like to be notified of future educational opportunities.
Article submitted by Laura Mills, TBI Service Coordinator with West Tennessee Rehabilitation
Heads Up For Students’ Day
Melissa McElroy and Lucretia Veazey, teachers at Dorothy and Noble Harrelson School in Henry
County, are planning a day full of activities to promote awareness and education of issues related
to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for their school and community. Staff members, students, and
families will be spending the month of April learning about TBI. Each grade received information
on bicycle safety and can participate in poster and essay contests. Posters will be displayed
throughout the building and student essays will be submitted to local media. On April 22nd,
students will celebrate lessons learned by hosting a Regional Conference to better promote TBI
The nurse educator from the area hospital plans to offer activities during the conference and Kids
on The Block http://www.kidsontheblock.net/contact-us/ from Chattanooga, TN, will complete
three performances of their puppet program entitled "Brain Power." To culminate the day, all
students in grades kindergarten through second will receive a bicycle safety helmet adorned with
the school logo. Coaches at the school representing each sport will receive information on
concussions in youth sports. Clipboards, sports magnets, posters, videos, fact sheets and wallet
cards will be distributed to each coach providing information on signs and symptoms of a
concussion along with an action plan. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services and
the CDC provided all of the above materials.
The entire day's activities were funded by a service learning grant from the Henry County Board
of Education along with a grant from Tennessee’s TBI Program. The teachers at Dorothy and
Noble Harrelson School are excited for this opportunity to correlate personal safety and
academics in their quest to meet the needs of the whole child.
Article submitted by Lucretia Veazey, SLP for Henry County Schools & Volunteer Project BRAIN
Resource Team Member and Melissa McElroy, Special Education Teacher.
All Concussions are Traumatic Brain Injuries…
About 75% of TBIs each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
1.7 Million people each year sustain a TBI in the United States.
For more information on sports concussion and traumatic brain injury in students and so much
more, please navigate through the following websites:
http://www.brainline.org - information about prevention, treatment & living w/TBI
http://www.impacttest.com- learn about implementing the Impact Program
http://www.tbied.org - ask the librarian your specific questions
http://cokidswithbraininjury.com/mild-tbi-concussion-info - TBI Resource Network
http://kidshealth.org - features information for parents, teens and kids
All concussions are potentially serious.
2010 Training Events Calendar
Apr 19-20 TN Secondary School Athletic Assoc. (TSSAA) 20th Annual Athletic Director’s
Apr 22 Students’ Day, Regional Conference, Henry County
Apr 23 East TN Child. Hosp. Pediatric Potpourri, Chattanooga
Apr 29-30 Mental Health Association Middle TN
TBI Update: Soldiers, Sports and Stigma, Nashville
Apr 30 Coping with Survival After TBI Conf., Saint Francis Hospital—Park Avenue,
May 10 TBI Advisory Council Meeting, Nashville
May 15 Baptist Memorial Hospital Conference, Germantown
June 3-4 TN Disability Mega Conference, Nashville
June 11 East TN School Nurse Conference, Knoxville
For more information:
955 Woodland Street
Nashville, TN 37206
Wanda Baker, BASW
West TN Resource Specialist / Trainer
Paula Denslow, CBIS
Coordinator & Middle TN
Resource Specialist / Trainer
Jennifer Rayman, Ed.S, CRC, CBIS
East TN Resource Specialist / Trainer
Project BRAIN is supported in part by project H21MC06739 from the Department of Health &
Human Services Health Resource and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health
Bureau. Additional support is from the TN Dept. of Education Division of Special Education. The
contents of the Publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the DHHS. Project BRAIN is a program of the Tennessee Disability Coalition,
implemented through a contract with the TBI Program of the TN Dept. of Health.