Baseline testing is vital to concussion diagnosis
Bonner County Daily Bee
By KATHY HUBBARD Columnist
Concussions are in the news again. What again? Last week it was the new superstar quarterback for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III who went out of the game after his bell was rung, but returned to the field on Sunday.
Monday, former running back Tiki Barber wrote for USA Today, “It’s difficult to argue that Griffin’s outstanding day … was anything short of amazing. But if he really wanted to be an example for the game, he wouldn’t even have suited up.”
Before that, it was NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Now sitting out two races in hopes that his symptoms subside ABC News reported, “Earnhardt was too stubborn to see a doctor about it. He was too worried he would be yanked from his car, derailing his long-suffering Sprint Cup Championship hopes.”
So, worrying about letting the team down. Worried that the coaches and players will use the label “wuss” or worse. And just not knowing how much actual damage you can do to your brain on the field or in a car crash keeps not only the pros in the game, but possibly our youth as well.
For-tunately for us, our kids can participate in ImPACT testing. Immed-iate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing is the first and most widely used evaluation system today and is used by over 7,000 schools, sports medicine centers and professional teams throughout the world and right here in Bonner County.
A look at their website (www.impacttest.com) describes this 20-minute computer test as: “The implementation of baseline and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing. Such evaluation can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion.”
“All our coaches are trained to administer the test,” Kris Knowles, athletic director at Sandpoint High School said.“It heightens awareness. There is a lot of focus today.
“When I played I never had a concussion, but I remember several players acting goofy after getting hit. Now we are being very proactive.”
Students in the west part of Bonner County and involved in club sports take the test with staff from Bonner General Hospital.
Rehabilitation director Michelle Tucker said that parents need to understand concussions and their long-term effects on the good health of their children.
“The more symptoms the longer recovery,” Tucker said. “If a child isn’t allowed to recover fully it can lead to severe consequences such as chronic depression.
“Since a CAT scan won’t show concussions, without the results of an ImPACT test the emergency department might send a concussed child home putting the him or her at serious risk.”
“I would tell parents that it’s worth the risk because the positives of team sports outweigh the negatives,” she said. “But knowing what I know, I recommend that parents stay involved. They should make sure the child has the proper safety equipment, be educated about the sport and possible injuries and stay connected to the coaches. I would for my own peace of mind.”
Although his championship hopes are dashed, Earnhardt wrote on his Facebook page: “I want to live a healthy life so I’m going to make sure that I’m doing the right thing …
“I think if I give myself time to get healed up, I can race for as long as I want to race, and that’s my objective.”
Let’s be glad our kids have the opportunity to do the same.
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Become an ImPACT® Client:
- Excel Sports Therapy on IMPACT Concussion testing
- Concussions: What you should know
- UMS-Wright Claims Victory In State Championship - ImPACT Concussion Testing A Win For Players
- Doctor Juan Ronderos on 'Sports Concussions' - A Fox10 News Special Report
- ImPACT Test: How It's Used To Determine Concussion Recovery
- Metro Student-Athlete Speaks Out Over Dangers of Concussions
- The Chicago Blackhawks, in conjunction with the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI), Athletico Physical Therapy and NorthShore University HealthSystem, will be offering a second year of free ImPACT testing.
- Concussions In The Spotlight
- Konerko says he felt out of this world while recovering from concussion
- White Sox's Konerko Felt Helpless & Depressed After Concussion
ImPACT is wonderful. We had an athlete with a low baseline score, he revealed he had been lying for over a year that he had been suffering from post concussion headaches. This was the only way we could find out. You can't fake the test.
- Jeff Cienik, ATC, Blackhawk High School, Pittsburgh, PA