Inside Look at SPS Concussion Protocols

Inside Look at SPS Concussion Protocols

Caroline Fay, Correspondent

After the situation in the NFL, where the dolphin’s quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, suffered from the symptoms of a concussion and within the next week he was “cleared” to play in the next game, where he got hit and ended up hitting his head again. After this hit, you can clearly see that his hands locked up and he was stumbling, which are the symptoms of brain trauma. This was all over the internet right after, making people think about how concussion procedures need to be followed more thoroughly. 


Athletic Trainer Jordan Napolitano said that he didn’t think proper protocols were followed in Tagovailoa’s case. “I think this issue with the recent situation is that the protocol was not followed,” Napoloitano said. 


“So generally if you’re not experiencing any signs or symptoms of a concussion you are withheld for at least a day, so even before the evaluations happen if you are demonstrating signs or symptoms, you’re done and that’s that,” Napolitano said.  He added that these policies are designed to protect athletes, since the appearance of symptoms can be inconsistent.


 “I think the good thing about high school is that everybody, at least the coaches I work with, are on the same page and that it is really for… to protect our student athletes so we will always air on the side of caution.” Napalitano said.


Athletic Director Chris Passamano also discussed his thoughts about Concussions, especially at the level of high school and how the protocol we have is to protect our athletes. 


“I don’t think we can take it more seriously. I think we take it very seriously. We have serious protocols in place if one of us, any of us, a coach, the trainer, myself, another athlete spot something or sees something” Passamano said. He also added that at our football games we also have EMS on staff as well as our trainer Jordan on the sideline. 


He also discussed the protocol we have to follow to get kids back to playing as safely as possible as well, “they still have to go through our protocol, our 7 Day return to play protocol that’s mandated before they can get back on the field so even if a doctor sent back the kid with a note “nope, he’s all good he’s clear he can play tomorrow”. he doesn’t play tomorrow, he doesn’t play until He’s cleared by our trainer.”


He also spoke about the dangers of a concussion and how an injury like it at such a young age could be very dangerous, especially if you don’t speak up about it. “we want to get all the experience out of it for you that we can. But you got another 60 years after high school to live, so doing something foolish now is not worth paying the price of it later.” 


The Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach Diane Burns also spoke about this topic in regard to the changes we have taken as a society in how serious we take these injuries now, “I know like even 10-20 years ago we weren’t really paying much attention; it was like “ your head hurts, Get up and continue to play”. And then she said how studies now show that these injuries that we used to just brush off actually cause serious long term effects.


Tagoluvia’s injury is a very scary thing to see, especially as an athlete, it shows us how important our health is and how seriously we need to take things. Ever since this circumstance in the NFL, it has hopefully shown athletes that their health should be their top priority. While it is important and fun to win and play a sport you enjoy, it’s also important to make sure that you’ll be able to recover from your injuries.