A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. It can also occur from a fall or a blow ot the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly. When treated properly, concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.
Reid has been at the forefront of concussion care. Bringing ImPACT testing to the area allows everyone involved to have another tool to use in providing proper care of concussions. They provide comfort where concussions are concerned. - Neal Adams, Union City High School
What Is ImPACT?
ImPACT is an acronym for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing.
It is comprised of 5 simple steps that help to better measure any potential brain or skull damage and ensure an athlete's safety.
Before diving head first into what the 5 steps are and how they operate, it is important to understand the serious effects and in some cases life altering implications of concussions.
Why Does Concussion Management Matter?
Concussions can occur in any sport or physical activity. As children and athletes of all ages are playing longer and harder than ever before, the potential for concussion (a mild traumatic brain injury), continues to increase. Fortunately, with proper management and careful return to participation, the ability to protect the long-term health of athletes is more effective than ever.
What Are The Signs Of A Concussion?
After receiving a blow to the head, athletes generally report one or more of the following symptoms.
- Balance problems
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Feeling sluggish, groggy, or just not right
- Ringing or pounding in the ears
- Concentration/memory problems/forgetful
- Dazed or stunned appearance
- Slow to respond/answer questions
- Mood, behavior or personality changes
Seek Emergent Care. Go to the nearest Emergency Department, or call 911:
- Decreased heart rate or respiration
- Slurred speech
- Difference in pupil size or abnormally large pupils
- Nausea or vomiting
- Double or blurry vision
- Severe neck pain
- Intense headache that continues to get worse
The ImPACT Model promotes the highest level of care and a safe return to play for athletes of all ages, from younger children (ages 10 and up) to collegiate and professional athletes.
To get started, Reid has several ImPACT certified providers
Learn More About The 5 Steps Of ImPACT Testing
Step 1: Pre-Season Baseline Testing and Education
- Educate athletes, parents, coaches, and teachers on concussions.
- Take an ImPACT Training Webinar or Video on Demand course, or attend a Workshop to learn about baseline test administration.
- Have a concussion management protocol on-hand and a ready team of key professionals prepared to treat an athlete.
- Roles and duties should be established for athletic trainer, concussion specialist (MD/DO/PhD), and rehabilitation.
- Have parents sign high school permission slip.
- Schedule supervised baselines in school’s computer lab.
- Test Administrator confirms all baselines are valid. If invalid, retest athlete.
Step 2: Concussion is Suspected
- Conduct sideline assessment.
- ImPACT mobile apps, such as Sideline or PCSI may be utilized in this step.
- If concussion is suspected, immediately remove from play/activity.
- Athletic trainer sets up referral for concussion specialist (MD/DO/PhD).
- Conduct vestibular screening.
- At the discretion of trained medical personnel, conduct brain imaging through MRI, CT scan or a Near-Infrared device such as an infra scanner.
Step 3: Post-Injury Testing and Treatment Plan
- Athlete to take supervised post-injury test 24-72 hours after injury.
- Athletic trainer continues to coordinate ongoing care with concussion specialist (MD/DO/PhD).
- Team coordinates care between athlete, parent, MD/DO/PhD, athletic trainers, teachers, and coaches.
- Does the athlete need additional and more extensive neuropsychological testing? If so, refer to Neuropsychologist.
- Does the athlete need vestibular/physical therapy? If so, refer to Physical Therapist.
Step 4: Is Athlete Ready for Non-Contact Activity
- A. Symptom free at rest and with cognitive exertion.
B. Post-injury test within normal range of baseline.
C. Normal vestibular evaluation.
- If A, B, C are not met, return to Step 3.
- If A, B, C are met, obtain written clearance for progression to activity by supervising professional that has specific training in concussion management.
- Implement stepwise return-to-play progression, beginning with light non-contact activity progressing to full non-contact exertion, with approval of a trained medical professional.
Step 5: Determining Safe Return-to-Play
- Return-to-play decisions should always be made by a concussion specialist (MD/DO/PhD).
- No recurring symptoms at rest or following physical or cognitive exertion.
- ImPACT test scores back to baseline.
- Athlete’s final ImPACT score is set as their new baseline.