Beginning February of 2012, coaches, school staff, young athletes, and their parents can receive free online training in recognizing and managing concussion by going to ORCAS’ Brain 101: The Concussion Playbook at http://brain101.orcasinc.com.
Concussions are a Serious Problem
Although nearly 4 million sports and recreation-related concussions are reported every year in the United States, many researchers believe numbers are much higher. Experts think many incidents go unreported and untreated in part because coaches and athletes just don’t know the signs or understand the potential seriousness of brain injuries. “They write them off as dings and bellringers,” says Dr. Ann Glang, Science Director and recipient of the 2011 North American Brain Injury Society Researcher of the Year Award.
Concussions can cause physical, emotional, and cognitive problems. Young brains are particularly vulnerable, since they are still developing. When concussions occur, the brain needs both physical and mental rest to heal. If treated immediately and with rest, the brain will usually recover within a few weeks. If ignored, concussions can lead to life-long impairments, and in rare cases even death.
In 2008, to help educate coaches about effective sports concussion prevention and management practices, ORCAS launched ACTive: Athletic Concussion Training for Coaches, an online, evidence-based training program used successfully in Oregon and other states to meet legislatively mandated training requirements for high school coaches.
Brain 101 Replaces ACTive
In early 2012, ACTive was replaced with Brain 101: The Concussion Playbook, an expanded package of web-based programs designed to train coaches, athletics staff, teachers, school administrators, young athletes and their parents about proper concussion recognition, response, and management. “It requires a school-wide effort with full community support to change the culture around concussion management,” says Glang, who is also Principal Investigator on the Brain 101 project.
In preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial in over 25 high schools, student athletes who watched the program showed increased knowledge of concussion symptoms and were more likely to report a suspected concussion in themselves or a teammate. Full results will be available in mid 2012.
A unique quality of the training is its use of entertaining animations to deliver the message to teen athletes. All content was developed by leaders in the fields of sports concussion, with input from athletic trainers, coaches, parents, and student athletes.
Brain 101 Seeking Sponsors
ORCAS is seeking sponsors who can help keep Brain 101 available at no cost to schools, where it can make a large scale impact on the lives of student athletes.
If you have additional questions about Brain 101 or are interested in sponsorship opportunities please contact:
Molly Billow, Product Manager