Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - 41

MAKING AN IMPACT IN
CONCUSSION TESTING
Every concussion is different, but one thing remains the same-taking
time to heal is vital to recovery. Community Healthcare System's specially
trained physicians and athletic trainers are experienced in evaluating concussions and providing individualized care.
The Concussion Clinics at Community Hospital in Munster,
St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart and the Valparaiso Health Center offer
an important tool in the management and treatment of concussions:
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).
"This neurocognitive assessment takes about 30 minutes and can be
particularly valuable when a baseline test is given before an injury occurs,"
says Mary Spina, concussion clinic supervisor and head athletic trainer at
Munster High School. "It gives us objective measures, including those of verbal
and visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and impulse control."
In the event an athlete later has a suspected concussion, ImPACT provides a
point of reference to track a patient's recovery.
The clinics offer free baseline ImPACT testing to anyone ages 12 to 65 as a
complement to existing concussion management and treatment guidelines.

Watch for
Physical
Symptoms

PHOTO AND ICONS BY GETTY IMAGES

There are obvious physical signs
that warrant a trip to the emergency
department: loss of consciousness,
seizures or not being able to move
an arm or leg. But more subtle signs
including headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light, or nausea and vomiting can also indicate a problem and
should be brought to the attention
of a doctor.

Don't Ignore
Emotional
Changes
"If your child is acting anxious,
or more emotional, sad or irritable than usual, it's something
you'll want to pay attention to,"
Raukar says.

APPOINTMENTS

Contact the
Concussion Clinic
The Concussion Clinic, located in Munster,
Hobart and Valparaiso, offers individualized
treatment and care for concussion. Call
219-836-4461 for information or to schedule
an appointment.

Beware
Cognitive
Problems
You may not notice problems with
memory or concentration until your
child needs to use those skills, Raukar
says. Once at school, he or she
might have difficulties. "They may
just feel foggy," she says. "It's like
they're looking at the world through
a TV with rabbit ears rather than
high-def."

Monitor Sleep
Concussions tend to cause
sleep disturbances in one
of two ways: The individual might
feel tired and want to sleep all the
time, or he or she may have difficulty
falling asleep. "Lethargy is more
common, but it's usually one or the
other," Raukar says.

Look for Vision
Problems
Issues with sight, such
as blurry or double vision, can be
challenging to detect-both by the
parent and the child-especially if
they are minor. But ask your child
about any vision problems and see
a doctor if you have concerns or
notice changes.

Assess Their
Balance
Balance problems aren't
always as noticeable as one might
think, Raukar says. And they can
develop a while after the incident.
Look for signs in the child's gait when
walking or if he or she seems to be
leaning to one side when standing.
If you're still not sure how to proceed-whether that means pulling
your child from play at school or taking him or her to the doctor, Raukar
recommends following the mantra,
"When in doubt, sit them out."
"You want to give them time to
rest and observe them, and definitely
take them to the doctor if you see
any of these symptoms," she says. ■

FALL 2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare

Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - Contents
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