ImPACT Concussion Testing
Protecting athletes starts with a test long before they snap the first ball with ImPACT, a computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT is objective, sophisticated test of cognitive abilities. It measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained and selective attention time
- Response variability
- Non-verbal problem solving
- Reaction time
CHI Health athletic trainers administer the test, which is paid for in part by CHI Health. It's a partnership designed to keep kids safe when all they're thinking about is playing ball. It protects athletes who want to play no matter what. Some may not to tell the training staff if they have a headache, feels nauseated and dizzy, or if their ears are ringing. If the training staff think an athlete has sustained a concussion, they perform and ImPact test again and compare it to the athlete's baseline test.
Sideline doctor and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brian Conroy couldn't agree more. He makes the tough call when an athlete is benched. And there's no second guessing ImPACT. "ImPACT gives you a picture of what their mental abilities are before they were hurt, Dr. Conroy, explained. After the event, we can do another test to see if their mental abilities are below par. As we go through the recovery process, we can measure mental as well as physical abilities to help us determine if they are ready to go back to sports."
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