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Sports Medicine
New guidelines for treatment of concussion

Oliver Kahn is carried on a stretcher after he collided with Frankfurt's forward Jan-Aage Fjortoft and suffered a concussion in 1999.
Photo Kai Pfaffenbach, Reuters
On November 2 and 3, 2001, the first International Symposium on Concussion in Sport was held in Vienna, Austria. This symposium, organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the Federation Internationale de Football Association Medical Assessment and Research Centre (FIFA, F-MARC) and the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission (IOC), was designed to provide recommendations addressing this important topic for the improvement of safety and health of athletes who suffer concussive injuries in ice hockey, football (soccer) and other sports.

At the conclusion of the symposium, a representative group of the faculty, now identified as the "Concussion in Sport (CIS) Group", were given a mandate by the organizing bodies to develop a document by the end of the 2001, describing the agreed position reached by the group and to move forward as a concussion working group toward the advancement of knowledge in this field.

The working members of the CIS Group include Karen Johnston (Chair), Mark Aubry, Robert Cantu, Jiri Dvorak, Toni Graf-Baumann, James Kelly, Mark Lovell, Paul McCrory, Willem Meeuwisse and Patrick Schamasch. The establishment of this group is an unprecedented step forward toward understanding and managing this injury.

Alexander Khavanov (R) of Russia hits Mikael Hakansson of Sweden on the head during their World Championship match in St.Petersburg, May 9, 2000.
Photo Alexander Demianchuk, Reuters
The detailed document, scheduled to be published simultaneously in the British Journal of Sport Medicine and the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine and Physician in February 2002, identifies seven main points including guidelines for identification, grading, testing, rehabilitation and return-to-play protocol for the health and safety of any athlete. The document has been developed for use by doctors, therapists, health professionals and coaches, with the intention of introducing these recommendations at the Olympic Winter Games 2002.

highlights of the seven main points from the paper developed by the CIS Group
los aspectos más importantes de los siete apartados desarrollados por el Grupo CIS
Neue Richtlinien zur Behandlung von Gehirnerschütterungen
" Zusammenfassung des Sieben-Punkte-Berichts der CIS-Gruppe
" Nouvelles directives concernant le traitement des commotions cérébrales
" Les sept points principaux du document conçu par le Groupe CIS
Chair and spokesperson for the CIS Group, Dr. Karen Johnston (McGill University, Montreal), commented on the work and progress made by this symposium: "This effort on the part of the endorsing organizations represents a significant achievement in the field of concussion and offers profound advancement in care for the concussed athlete."

The positive result of this first cooperative effort between the CIS Group and sport bodies, combined with the understanding that concussion research is a continuous and relentless work in progress, suggests it may be advisable to convene future meetings so that sport may maintain access to the latest medical guidance to deal with the serious problem of head injuries in competition.

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