Health Beat - Fall 2016 - 9

Happen By Meghan Klaassen Garrett Hooker, MD Specialized Testing Proved Beneficial Concussion Warning Signs Brian Harvey, MD, DO Concussion Prevention 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 more confused "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 emotional 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 playing sports. 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. 9

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