Three Step "Concussion Check" Protocol by the Mayo Clinic

Article by Concussion Alliance contributor and intern Hannah Kennicott.

The International Concussion Society published a video covering Mayo Clinic’s “Concussion Check,” an easy-to-follow protocol for parents and coaches on how to handle concussions in student-athletes while in the absence of medical professionals.

Concussion.Org is sharing information about Mayo Clinic's Concussion Check, a new sideline concussion protocol that empowers parents and coaches to make decisions about removing athletes from play after a concussion risk. This simple, three-step method, recommended by the Mayo Clinic, International Concussion Society and King-Devick Test in association with Mayo Clinic, is a vital tool to keeping children and young adults safe on and off the field.


The sideline protocol has three steps to determine if an athlete should return to play:

  1. Recognize and remove every potentially concussed athlete from the activity.

  2. Assess the athlete’s memory by asking questions like “Where are we? Is this a practice or game?”

  3. Conduct the King-Devick Test (description below). There is a King-Devick Test app available for iPad, and the cost is per team member.

More information on how to implement the three-step protocol can be found on the International Concussion Society website and on the Mayo Clinic Concussion Check website.

This image is from the  Mayo Clinic Concussion Check  website.

This image is from the Mayo Clinic Concussion Check website.

The King-Devick Test

The King-Devick Test, the third component of the protocol, is a short visual assessment that can identify impaired eye movement. A study by Dr. Steven Galetta et al. at the NYU Langone Concussion Center found that the King-Devick Test detected concussions in children with 92% accuracy. The research was conducted by Steven Galetta, MD at the NYU Langone Concussion Center, and published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology.

However, another study by Dr. Gordon Ward Fuller at al. found that the King-Devick Test was not a reliable method of concussion detection in elite rugby players. The researchers discovered the test had a relatively low sensitivity of 60% and specificity of 39%. The study was published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine.

King-Devick Technologies, in association with Mayo Clinic, has developed a King-Devick Test app that is available for iPad. The cost is per team member.

You can also purchase directly from the Mayo Clinic; the app, Mayo Clinic Concussion Check Protocol, and Mayo Clinic Concussion Educational Videos are available as a package for $15 per athlete.