Health Beat - Fall 2016 - 9
By Meghan Klaassen
While there is no sure way to prevent a
concussion, there are steps one can take
Dr. Harvey was able to accurately treat
to reduce the risk. Garrett Hooker, a famAdrienne by comparing results from an
ily physician with COMCARE in Salina, has
ImPACT study (immediate post-concussion
also used ImPACT to diagnose and treat
assessment and cognitive testing) that was
patients who have developed concussions
done earlier in the year at Southeast of
D Slurred speech, difficulty
in sports and nonsports accidents.
Saline with results from a test conducted
remembering or becoming
"I think one of the most important prein his office. The school offers free baseline
D Weakness, numbness,
ventative strategies is education," Dr. Hooker
testing in the fall for all athletes.
tingling, decreased coordisays. "Recent media coverage has helped
Proper concussion management is
nation or difficulty walking
to raise a lot of awareness, but concussion
critical in healing and preventing deepD Repeated throwing up
prevention isn't limited simply to sports.
lasting or permanent brain injury. Additional
D Headaches that worsen
D Unusual behavior or
Properly fitted car and booster seats for
trauma to the head before the brain has
kids, wearing your seat belt, wearing a helhad proper time to heal puts individuals at
D Seizure activity
met during activity that could potentially
risk for second-impact syndrome, which
D Loss of consciousness
result in head injury, and removing tripping
can cause permanent damage to the brain
hazards in the home are just a few examples
and even death.
of ways you can reduce concussion risk."
ImPACT testing was developed by
clinical experts and is the most widely used
and scientifically validated concussion evaluation program.
The Road to Recovery
The 20-minute, computer-based test uses patterns and simple
Adrienne's concussion recovery lasted about three weeks.
images to assess cognitive function, attention span, verbal and Although it was tedious, she and her mother are happy to
visual memory, processing speed and reaction time. Doctors
report a full recovery. Adrienne is safely back to school and
use results from the test to evaluate the magnitude of injury
and determine when it is safe for athletes to return to play.
"I think all parents should have their kids go through
After reviewing Adrienne's results, Dr. Harvey recomthe initial ImPACT baseline testing," Ingrid says. "This goes
mended a four-step recovery plan involving limited screen
to show that it doesn't matter what sport you're playing or
time, extra sleep and no written work.
what you're doing-a concussion can happen." 1
Get a Baseline Test for Concussions
A baseline test is taken before a concussion has
occurred. Results reveal a standard of normal cognitive function, which is critical in post-injury evaluations. In the event a person has sustained a concussion,
he or she will take the ImPACT test again and these
results will be compared with the baseline. This helps
determine whether a concussion has occurred, the
extent of injury and when a person can safely return to
school and sports.
Most area high schools offer baseline ImPACT testing. If your school does not, contact Salina Pediatric
Care at 785-825-2273 or COMCARE at 785-823-7470
or 785-825-8221. Parents with children younger than
high school age also may seek ImPACT testing if desired.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Health Beat - Fall 2016
In This Issue
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