Wednesday, December 8, 2010
ImPACT testing now available in my office
ImPACT testing is a quick and easy tool to use in conjunction with careful evaluation and examination of athletes and others who may have sustained a head injury. It is well known from the recent flurry of coverage in the media that concussions are more common and more difficult to manage well than heretofore imagined. I have posted many pieces on this site about the evolution of our thinking on this subject. Just yesterday, Governor Christie announced new legislation in New Jersey that requires all school districts to create a policy to address the issue.
ImPACT is a twenty minute, online test administered and interpreted by a trained professional. In the NHL, NFL, many schools and other sports organizations, it is administered as a baseline during pre-season and then used to help determine when an athlete's visual memory, reaction time and verbal memory have returned to normal following an injury. In many cases this objective information is invaluable in helping to determine when it is safe to return to practice, competition and play.
My adolescent medicine training is particularly helpful in making these decisions. The importance of sports and team membership in building a strong sense of well-being cannot be underestimated. At the same time, it may take an objective professional to keep an eye on long term health and goals. Many complex factors go into this decision: parental concerns, family's tolerance for risk, previous injuries, school policies, objective medical information, school functioning, role on the team, success of the team and pressures from the coach to name a few.
Anyone interested in ImPACT testing through my office can find more information on my website or can call my office. I am happy to consult with students and families even if they are not currently patients in my office. Many insurance plans cover ImPACT testing.