Hospitals Join Concussion Testing Program
The Nebraska Sports Concussion Network announces that four new medical facilities in Nebraska, including Fremont Area Medical Center in Fremont, Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare in Hastings and Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, will join their network of hospitals that provide a concussion testing program for student athletes.
The Nebraska Sports Concussion Network was founded by Nebraska Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine and Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in 2010 and improves the health, well-being and safety of student athletes across the state by giving physicians, coaches and schools the tools to know when an athlete can safely return to play after a concussion.
Their concussion testing program utilizes the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT™) test developed by physicians at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The ImPACT test compares before-and-after injury data from a series of brief cognitive tests to determine if an athlete is ready to return.
Before the season starts, each player takes a baseline test measuring various aspects of memory. After an injury, the same test would be completed to help determine the severity of the injury. When the neurocognitive brain function returns to normal, it is safe for the athlete to resume play.
Members of the Nebraska Sports Concussion Network fund the cost of the baseline testing at local and area schools and collaborate with their local medical communities to provide training for physicians on the use of neurocognitive testing and the ImPACT Test in their clinical practices.
“We are excited about expanding our concussion testing program across Nebraska,” says Dave Schultz, Program Coordinator for the Nebraska Sports Concussion Network. “Our program helps schools and physicians provide an effective tool for managing concussions that is more objective and safer for returning concussed athletes back into participation. It helps take the guesswork out of it,” he added.
Current ImPACT users include all NFL and NHL teams, Major League Baseball, including all umpires, numerous NCAA Division I football programs, including the University of Nebraska athletic teams. In all, more than 4,000 high schools and 600 colleges and universities nationwide utilize ImPACT Testing, including 150+ high schools in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Sports Concussion Network is hosting an educational seminar in Hastings and Kearney for physicians treating concussions in their communities. Attendees will learn about evaluation and treatment methods for sports-related concussions, “Return to Play” guidelines and best practices for the ImPACT Test. On Wednesday, April 25, the seminar begins at 6:30 p.m. at Mary Lanning Memorial HealthCare in Hastings. Registration is available at www.SaintElizabethOnline.com. On Monday, April 30, Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney will host the seminar starting at 6:30 p.m. To register for the training in Kearney, call 308-865-7697.