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July 3, 2012 > Concussion testing for high school athletes

Concussion testing for high school athletes

Submitted By Kate LeCornu

One in 10 high school athletes will suffer a concussion during the fall season. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose, however the most common initial symptom will be a change in the athlete's behavior. Symptoms may include amnesia, balance or vision issues, fatigue, headache, sensitivity to light or noise, confusion, nausea and, in some cases, loss of consciousness.

An athlete with a suspected concussion should NEVER return to the practice/game where he or she was injured, no matter the symptoms' severity or longevity. Every concussion is dangerous, no matter how seemingly mild. There is no timetable - recovery time varies from person to person. Each athlete with a suspected concussion should ALWAYS be evaluated by a certified athletic trainer, physician trained in concussions or a neuropsychologist before returning to practice or play.

ImPACT is the leader in baseline concussion testing which is performed during pre-participation sports physicals. The test takes about 20 minutes and measures the individual's memory, attention span and processing speed. The test is recommended for youth aged 12 and older who participate in a sports program such as football, soccer, basketball and/or lacrosse. Through the use of this baseline test, the athlete has a personal report that can be used determine an individualized "return to play decision" should an injury occur during the season.

This comprehensive, computerized approach is the standard adopted across the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball, the Indianapolis Racing League, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team, college and high-school athletics with roughly 2 million people tested.

Dr. Jim Dhanoa, Sports Medicine physician at Fremont Orthopaedic and Rehabilitative Medicine, a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant says, "Concussions can result in serious health problems if the athlete returns to play before the concussion has time to heal. Therefore it is important that anyone who has symptoms of a concussion is evaluated by a physician experienced in treating concussions."

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