The procedure to check for concussions in the NFL


I was just thinking with all of the concussions that’s in the NFL (especially with three starting QBs going down last week), it would be informative to find out what is the procedure that they do on the sideline after a player wake up from being rocked and looking punch drunk.

The NFL has a standardized test to be conducted in all cases where a concussion is suspected. The test includes:

  • A rundown of physical symptoms visible to the medical staff, as well as those only the player can detect, such as double vision or nausea.
  • A series of questions to check orientation (“What month is it?” “What is the day of the week?”) plus Maddocks’ Questions, developed by physician D.L. Maddocks, which apply to the sport being played (“What quarter is it right now?” “Who scored last in the game?”).
  • Word recall of a list of five words, three trials of the same words. Then, two concentration tests: repeating strings of numbers (from three to six) and the months of the year — both backward.
  • Balance testing inside the locker room, with motions performed while standing with feet together, on one (non-dominant) foot and in a tandem stance (with the non-dominant foot in the back).
  • The final score is calculated and compared to a “baseline” score conducted in training camp. If it doesn’t match up, the player is held out.

There you have it.  If you didn’t know, now you know.

Written by AG2


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