Hillcrest Hospital Cushing Offers Concussion Screenings for Student-Athletes
With the warmer temperatures of spring, come longer days, fresh blooms and more people spending time outside enjoying activities like sports. For local Cushing student-athletes, spring also ushers in the start of new baseball and soccer seasons, as well as football training on the horizon. To help protect our athletes from head injuries, Hillcrest Hospital Cushing and Cushing High School announced a new program last fall to assist athletic trainers and coaches in evaluating and treating head injuries through the software tool ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).
ImPACT is used across the country in several professional, collegiate and high school programs to proactively diagnose and manage concussions among athletes. This software tool will help determine both the severity of the injury and when it has fully healed. Hillcrest Hospital Cushing offers this screening to student-athletes prior to the start of the football season, as well as in post-season. The non-invasive screening is much like a video game that lasts about 15 minutes. If an injury is detected, a designated health care provider is notified, as well as the student’s primary care physician.
It is especially important to detect concussions, which may have gone undiagnosed at the time of the injury, as adolescents are more likely than adults to suffer a concussion and take longer to fully recover. As all concussions cause some form of damage at the cellular level, preventing multiple concussions helps protect from the cumulative result of concessive head injuries. Equally important is the fact that students take the necessary time to allow for full healing before returning to the contact sport.
In a recent article, ImPACT Marketing Officer Dr. Jim Gyurke addressed the question of whether athletes are sustaining more concussions or if more are being diagnosed. “This is a very difficult question to answer,” said Dr. Gyurke. “What is known is that athletes today are bigger and faster than ever before. It is therefore logical to conclude that collisions that occur during competitions are going to be more forceful, regardless of the sport. Also, there is much more vigilance in identifying athletes who have been involved in an event that could produce concussion. Lastly, while there is no universal standard for what level of impact produces a concussion, science has made great strides in the last few decades in understanding and identifying the injury.”
To learn more about the ImPACT Concussion Management Program, please talk to your child’s coach or call Hillcrest Hospital Cushing at 918-225-2915.