NASCAR today announced it is changing its concussion protocol for competitors with a screening tool for all venues and increasing available neurological support for race event weekends through its new partnership with AMR, aka American Medical Response, a national ambulance company.
The move comes at a time when major news organizations – Bloomberg, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, among many others – are questioning the viability of the National Football League over its massive concussion problem and ongoing scandal.
NASCAR has worked very closely with the industry to ensure our concussion protocol reflects emerging best practices in this rapidly developing area of sports medicine,” claimed Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We will continue to utilize relationships we’ve had for years with leaders in the neurological research field who helped to shape these updates.”
NASCAR Concussion Protocol
- With damaged vehicles, a driver whose car sustains damage from an accident or contact of any kind and goes behind the pit wall or to the garage is required to visit the Infield Care Center to be evaluated.
- The medical portion of NASCAR’s Event Standards now require that Infield Care Center physicians incorporate the SCAT3* diagnostic tool in screening for head injuries.
- AMR will provide on-site neurological consultative support at select NASCAR events during the 2017 season and will work directly with NASCAR in the continued development of concussion protocol.
* SCAT3 is a standardized tool for evaluating athletes for concussion and can be used in athletes aged from 13 years and older. it supersedes the original SCAT and the SCAT2 published in 2005 and 2009. A concussion is trouble in brain function caused by a direct or indirect force to the head. It results in a variety of non-specific signs and / or symptoms and most often does not involve loss of consciousness.
Concussion are suspect any one or more of:
- Symptoms (e.g., headache), or
- Physical signs (e.g., unsteadiness), or
- Impaired brain function (e.g. confusion) or
- Abnormal behavior (e.g., change in personality).