Concussion Management in Youth Sports
Concussion Management, Prevention of Repeat Concussions, and Rehabilitation
The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) computerized evaluation system is one of several state-of-the-art tools The Center Foundation uses for concussion management. This powerful tool helps determine if a concussion has occurred, as well as giving an idea of its severity. Most importantly, ImPACT testing aids in deciding if, and when, it is safe for an athlete to return to contact sports.
How it works:
- At the beginning of each sport season, athletes are given a computerized test (ImPACT), establishing a baseline of their normal mental function. These baseline tests are especially important if the student has ADHD, dyslexia, or learning disabilities.
- Additional evaluations include a neurological examination, the SCAT3, balance testing, and a visual and verbal assessment.
- In the event of a concussion, research-based protocols guide care and treatment until releasing the student to play.
- It is important to note that, injured athletes cannot return to play until cleared by a physician. Thereby reducing the potential for further injury, such as Second Impact Syndrome.
What is Second Impact Syndrome?
Second Impact Syndrome occurs when a person suffers a second concussion before the symptoms of the first one have subsided. Specifically, in this condition the brain swells rapidly and catastrophically. Sometimes, even fatally.
School protocols require at least seven days off from contact sports following the initial concussion. This allows the brain to heal, reducing the risk for a second concussion. For this reason, Jenna’s Law, an extension of Max’s Law, legislated against immediate return to play after a concussion. The result is a marked decrease in the number of students developing Second Impact Syndrome.
Did You Know?
$76.5 billion – the cost of traumatic brain injuries in the United States.