How Student-Athletes are ImPACTing Concussion Treatment
Speed, power and momentum propel athletes to success. They can also cause serious head injury when things go wrong. Thats why TCF has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Department to implement the first high school concussion testing program west of the Mississippi.
About the Program
Bend, La Pine, Sisters, Redmond, Culver and Madras high school athletes participating in football, soccer, basketball and wrestling are part of a progressive program that is setting new standards for concussion diagnosis and treatment. Called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) it is the first computerized evaluation system to help determine concussion severity, as well as if and when it is safe for an athlete to return to contact sports.
At the start of the season, each athlete is given a computerized, neuropsychological test to establish a baseline or normal record of their cognitive function attention, memory, reaction time and visual processing speed. In the event of a concussion, the athlete is retested and the results are compared to their original readings. Injured athletes are not returned to play until they again meet their baseline test score, reducing the potential for further injury.
Since the program began in the 2000/2001 school year, TCF has provided funding for more than 4500 students to receive baseline testing. During this period, over 650 students in the program have experienced concussions, and many injured athletes who would have been cleared for play by conventional standards have benefited from this state-of-the-art diagnostic program.
Each year, more than 64,000 high school athletes in the U.S. suffer a concussion while playing sports, including one in five football players. And with each incidence, they may be more susceptible to injuries from even mild future hits.
In the United States, the annual incidence of sports-related concussion is estimated at 300,000. Estimates regarding the likelihood of an athlete in a contact sport experiencing a concussion may be as high as 19%. The effects of concussions are now known to be cumulative, even when the concussive blows are relatively minor.
Learn more about ImPACT and theUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center Concussion Program.
Troy Snyders Experience with Concussion Testing as Reported by The Bulletin