by Mina Karabit October 31, 2022 2 min read

Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018  is named for Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player from Ottawa who died from ‘second impact syndrome’ — a condition where the brain swells after a person suffers a second injury before a previous injury heals. In Rowan’s case, she experienced three concussions over six days while playing rugby. Her brain did not have a chance to recover from the first two concussions before she suffered the third concussion and experienced second impact syndrome. Unfortunately, Rowan ultimately succumbed to her injuries, highlighting the serious nature of concussions and second impact syndrome.

The coroner’s inquest into Rowan’s death resulted in 49 recommendations, which included:

  • Increased education and awareness for parents, coaches, athletes, and teachers surrounding concussion injuries
  • Better tools for coaches and trainers to identify concussions
  • Concussion policies at all school boards and sports associations across Ontario
  • Increased education and training for healthcare professionals to better treat and manage concussions

As a result, Rowan’s Law andRowan’s Law Day were established to honour her memory and bring awareness to concussions and concussion safety.

Rowan’s Law provides a framework for concussion prevention, detection, and management within amateur competitive sports. It includes requirements for the removal from and return to sport, which came into effect on January 1, 2022.

Athletes who have sustained a concussion or who are suspected of having sustained a concussion must be removed from further training, practice, or competition. Athletes cannot return to full participation until medically assessed and cleared.

Under Rowan’s Law, only physicians and nurse practitioners can medically assess or confirm medical clearance for athletes to return to unrestricted participation in sport. The law does not specify the confirmation needed to demonstrate that a physician or nurse practitioner has provided a diagnosis or medical clearance.

Concussion management can be complex and may require a multidisciplinary approach with a continuum of care. Physicians and nurse practitioners should follow current best practices for concussion management and ensure that their documentation meets the requirements set out by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the College of Nurses of Ontario, respectively.

Other health care providers, like physiotherapists, chiropractors, and dentists, should be aware of the signs and symptoms of sports-related concussions and direct patients to see a physician or a nurse practitioner to assess and manage these conditions. 

Note: Our blog posts are not a substitute for legal advice. Please contact us if you have questions specific to your situation, as we may be able to assist. 

To learn more about Wise Health Law and our services, please contact us!

Also in Blog

man consulting doctor for surgery
Greater Access to Gender-Affirming Surgery in Ontario

by Mina Karabit April 25, 2024 4 min read

The Divisional Court confirms the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals to receive funding for gender-affirming care that aligns with their non-binary experiences of gender.
Physiotherapy clinic
Regulated Health Professionals can be Held Accountable for Business Practices

by Mina Karabit April 20, 2024 2 min read

The Divisional Court confirms that Colleges can have jurisdiction to consider the business practices of regulated health professionals.
Two physicians discussing licence revocation due to conduct during COVID-19 pandemic
Conduct During the COVID-19 Pandemic Results in Licence Revocation

by Mina Karabit March 12, 2024 4 min read

CPSO revokes physician’s certificate of registration revoked based on findings he was unprofessional, incompetent and ungovernable during the pandemic.