GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2011-147
HOUSE BILL 792
AN ACT to enact the Gfeller‑waller concussion awareness act.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
TITLE OF ACT
SECTION 1. This act may be known and cited as the Gfeller‑Waller Concussion Awareness Act.
DEVELOPMENT OF AN ATHLETIC CONCUSSION SAFETY TRAINING PROGRAM
SECTION 2.(a) The Matthew A. Gfeller Sport‑Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at UNC‑Chapel Hill in consultation with the North Carolina Medical Society, the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association, the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina, the North Carolina Neuropsychological Society, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Inc., and the Department of Public Instruction shall develop an athletic concussion safety training program. The program shall be developed for the use of coaches, school nurses, school athletic directors, volunteers, students who participate in interscholastic athletic activities in the public schools, and the parents of these students.
SECTION 2.(b) The program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Written information detailing the recognition of the signs and symptoms of concussions and other head injuries.
(2) A description of the physiology and the potential short‑term and long‑term effects of concussions and other head injuries.
(3) The medical return‑to‑play protocol for postconcussion participation in interscholastic athletic activities.
CONCUSSION SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC COMPETITION
SECTION 3. G.S. 115C‑12(23) reads as rewritten:
"(23) Power to Adopt
Eligibility Rules for Interscholastic Athletic Competition. – The State Board
may shall adopt rules governing interscholastic
athletic activities conducted by local boards of education, including
eligibility for student participation. With regard to middle schools and
high schools, the rules shall provide for the following:
a. All coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, first responders, volunteers, students who participate in interscholastic athletic activities, and the parents of those students shall receive, on an annual basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet. School employees, first responders, volunteers, and students must sign the sheet and return it to the coach before they can participate in interscholastic athletic activities, including tryouts, practices, or competition. Parents must sign the sheet and return it to the coach before their children can participate in any such interscholastic athletic activities. The signed sheets shall be maintained in accordance with sub‑subdivision d. of this subdivision.
For the purpose of this subdivision, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct or indirect impact to the head that results in disruption of normal brain function, which may or may not result in loss of consciousness.
b. If a student participating in an interscholastic athletic activity exhibits signs or symptoms consistent with concussion, the student shall be removed from the activity at that time and shall not be allowed to return to play or practice that day. The student shall not return to play or practice on a subsequent day until the student is evaluated by and receives written clearance for such participation from (i) a physician licensed under Article 1 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes with training in concussion management, (ii) a neuropsychologist licensed under Article 18A of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes with training in concussion management and working in consultation with a physician licensed under Article 1 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, (iii) an athletic trainer licensed under Article 34 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, (iv) a physician assistant, consistent with the limitations of G.S. 90‑18.1, or (v) a nurse practitioner, consistent with the limitations of G.S. 90‑18.2.
c. Each school shall develop a venue specific emergency action plan to deal with serious injuries and acute medical conditions in which the condition of the patient may deteriorate rapidly. The plan shall include a delineation of roles, methods of communication, available emergency equipment, and access to and plan for emergency transport. This plan must be (i) in writing, (ii) reviewed by an athletic trainer licensed in North Carolina, (iii) approved by the principal of the school, (iv) distributed to all appropriate personnel, (v) posted conspicuously at all venues, and (vi) reviewed and rehearsed annually by all licensed athletic trainers, first responders, coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, and volunteers for interscholastic athletic activities.
d. Each school shall maintain complete and accurate records of its compliance with the requirements of this subdivision pertaining to head injuries.
The State Board of Education may authorize a designated organization to apply and enforce the Board's rules governing participation in interscholastic athletic activities at the high school level."
SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2011‑2012 school year.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 13th day of June, 2011.
s/ Walter H. Dalton
President of the Senate
s/ Dale R. Folwell
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives
s/ Beverly E. Perdue
Approved 11:55 a.m. this 16th day of June, 2011