Concussions are traumatic head injuries that occur from both mild and severe blows to the head. They are not only associated with professional athletes but also with school and recreational youth sports. While a standard sports physical is required by nearly all school and youth sports leagues, this will not provide doctors with important information about a child’s cognitive abilities should a concussion occur. A baseline concussion test will provide physicians with valuable information to use if a child suffers a concussion. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that every child playing a sport get a pre-season test of "normal" brain function (known as the ImPACT test). This pre-concussion test helps to establish a baseline of the child's normal cognitive brain function which can later be used to compare to a post-concussion test, should an injury occur during a sport.
Staffed by credentialed ImPACT Consultants, the Broward Health Concussion Care Program offers comprehensive services for sports and concussion diagnosis and management including:
- Sports physicals are available at Broward Health Urgent Care (three locations).
- Pre-season Baseline and Post-injury ImPACT testing (includes professionals trained in interpreting results and recommending the best treatment options); ImPACT Testing is recognized nationwide and adopted by the NFL, NHL and Broward County schools. It is for ages 10-18 years and is by appointment only. Insurance does not cover these exams. Payment is due at time of appointment.
- A Pediatric Emergency Department available 24/7 at Broward Health Coral Springs and Broward Health Medical Center.
- Expert team of partnering physicians, knowledgeable in diagnosis, treatment and management of concussion injuries including making safe recommendations for academic accommodations and return-to-play decisions.
- Rehabilitation – Physical therapists trained in management of injured athletes will develop a plan of care to address the individual's needs which may include a progressive monitored exercise program. Vestibular rehabilitation, a therapy which is designed to reduce some of the symptoms of dizziness and visual disturbances may also be prescribed.
- Educational Programs for Coaches
Recognizing signs and symptoms of concussion and steps to take if concussion is suspected.
- Speakers for Parents/Parent Groups
Getting the proper care and treatment for your child if a concussion is suspected.
- Youth & Community Sports Leagues
Educational programs designed to minimize typical athletic injuries (ACLs, rotator cuff tears, back strains, etc.); Strength and conditioning programs which are sport-specific designed to reduce injury; Work in conjunction with coaches and trainers to provide other education as requested.
For more information, contact the Rehab Services Department of Broward Health Coral Springs at 954-344-3180.
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What is ImPACT?
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT was developed IN THE 1990s to provide useful information to assist qualified practitioners in making sound return to play decisions following concussions.
Why use ImPACT?
Given the inherent complexities of concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing whenever possible. Neurocognitive assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete's post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has been called the "cornerstone" of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.
Who is currently using ImPACT?
Some of the individuals using ImPACT include all of MLB, NHL, NFL and WWE. Over 7400 high schools, 1,300 colleges and universities, 1,200 clinical centers, 225 professional teams, select military units, Cirque du Soleil, New Zealand and South African rugby teams also use ImPACT.
What does the ImPACT test look like?
To view a demo of the ImPACT test please visit their website at, http://www.impacttestonline.com/impacttestdemo
ImPACT is NOT:
- A diagnostic test, ImPACT is one tool that can be used by medical professionals to help measure an individual’s recovery from a concussion
- A one step solution to concussions
- A preventative tool, nothing can prevent concussions
- A substitute for medical treatment or management
- A replacement for a cat scan, MRI or other medical technology
- A home-based test, ImPACT should always be administered in the presences of a trained supervisor
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