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NFL standardizes concussion protocol

INDIANAPOLIS - In an effort to better deal with the incidence of concussions, the NFL will use a new standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol starting this season, according to Dr. Margot Putukian, a member of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee and chair of the Return-to-Play Subcommittee.

Developed by the subcommittee in response to a team medical staff survey conducted last season, the new protocol combines a symptom checklist, a limited neurological examination including a cognitive evaluation, and a balance assessment.

"This tool provides a standardized format for evaluating head injury that medical staff can use on the sideline," said Dr. Putukian.

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