As per previous guidelines, severity of the condition was assessed based on grading system and athletes with grade one were allowed to return to the game within 15 minutes in the absence of any symptoms, while patients with grade 3 severity were out of the game for around two weeks.
According to the new recommendations, coaches and trainers are advised to remove the player off the field at the slightest suspicion of concussions. No specific time frame is mentioned about when the player could return to the game. The guidelines aim to individualize the treatment and rest as needed by individual players.
The players can return to the field only when certified as perfectly fit by a licensed health care professional after thoroughly assessing the symptoms.
With nearly 3.8 million athletes sustaining brain injury every year it is necessary for every athlete to be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussions, which include headache, dizziness, nausea, ear ringing, sensitivity to light and sounds, slurred speech, impaired memory or judgment, as well as changes in reaction time or balance.
Repeated concussions in long term professional players could have a huge impact on their health and the guidelines recommend complete retirement from the game to prevent further risk.
The revised recommendations were announced at the academy's annual meeting in San Diego and published in the journal, Neurology.