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NASCAR Updates Head Injury Protocol

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 18 2017

NASCAR will keep a closer eye on driver concussions. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

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NASCAR has announced updates to its concussion protocol for competitors, adding a consistent screening tool for all venues and increasing available neurological support for race event weekends through its new partnership with American Medical Response.

The protocol went into effect Friday, prior to the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice of the 2017 season at Daytona International Speedway, and covers all national series.

“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,” Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, said in a statement. “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’s protocol now includes:

_ As part of the new rule regarding 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 SCAT-3 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.

The sanctioning body announced last week it was partnering with AMR to expand the capabilities of NASCAR’s medical support model and enhance on-track incident response. A recognized leader in the emergency medical services field, AMR will add a doctor and paramedic to the on-track safety team for each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend.

NASCAR’s industry-leading medical standards remain in place; Infield Care Centers will continue to be staffed with experienced local emergency room physicians, maintaining the valuable connection with local medical facilities at every track. Combining the experience of local emergency practitioners with the familiarity the AMR team will develop with drivers will positively impact the process for years to come.

“This partnership further strengthens NASCAR’s medical response capability, making our well-established, medical response system even better,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “AMR is a leader in the emergency services sector, and its doctors and paramedics add another layer of expertise to the immediate response team.”

AMR will position state-licensed doctors and paramedics in a chase vehicle along with two NASCAR Track Services team members and immediately respond to an on-track incident. The paramedic and doctor will provide an assessment at the scene.

“We’re excited about this partnership with NASCAR,” said Edward Van Horne, AMR’s president/chief executive officer. “We’re going to work collaboratively with NASCAR and local teams to share best EMS practices and ensure the highest quality of care.”

AMR, which currently delivers EMS support at a number of NASCAR events, will provide a physician to serve as the national medical director of the AMR Safety Team to oversee all services provided by AMR and work with the NASCAR Medical Liaisons and NASCAR Consulting Physicians.

A subsidiary of Envision Healthcare, AMR is the largest provider of emergency medical transportation services in the U.S. and a leader in pre-hospital care and treatment. More than 25,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 4.4-million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo.

In addition, AMR now is the Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 18 2017
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