Head injuries are on the rise for all athletes
An estimated 4 to 5 million concussions occur each year, with increases among middle school players.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function. Concussions are very difficult to diagnose and symptoms may not appear immediately. Unfortunately, concussions can have long-term medical affects.
Athletes who return to their sport too quickly following a concussion, and subsequently suffer another one, are at an extremely high risk of serious brain damage.
ImPACT® Baseline Testing
Aurora BayCare is a provider of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), the most-widely used and scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system.
As part of ImPACT, we use neurocognitive testing to get an objective evaluation of an athlete’s condition before a concussion. Then, if an injury occurs, we have medically reliable information to determine the athlete’s ability to return to play.
ImPACT testing measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained and selective attention span
- Response variability
- Non-verbal problem solving
- Reaction time
ImPACT is a 20-minute computerized test used to evaluate athletes 11 years old and older. Results of a baseline ImPACT can be compared to follow-up scores if an athlete suffers, or is suspected of suffering, from a concussion.
We offer individual testing sessions at the Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine Center in Green Bay. Or, group testing can be conducted at your school or team practice location.
Cost: $25 per athlete
To schedule your baseline or post-injury assessment, call Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine at 920-288-5400.
ImPACT is used by many high school and university athletic programs and several professional teams in the National Football League, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. ImPACT baseline concussion testing can be crucial to ensuring your athlete’s health and safety.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Ninety percent of diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness. And many athletes, of all ages, can be reluctant to admit they may have been injured. That’s why it’s so important for coaches and parents to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
After an incident, an athlete should be monitored for:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems
- Vision problems
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Confusion about recent event
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Unusual behavior, including irritability or sadness
If an athlete is experiencing these symptoms, contact your athletic trainer or physician for immediate evaluation. If symptoms worsen, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.
After a concussion, recovery time will vary depending on the severity of the injury, past history of concussions, age, and reoccurring symptoms. The decision to return to normal activity should be made with your health care provider.
Guidelines to follow:
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
- Minimize mental stimulation
- Eat healthy foods
- Stay hydrated
- Limit social situations
- Avoid or moderate: physical activity
- Avoid or moderate: video games, computer use, reading, texting, driving
After a concussion, students may need additional time for tests and quizzes and should get written instructions for homework.