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Pre-Concussion Testing for Kids

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Did you know that 50 percent of concussions may go unreported? Head injuries are on the rise for athletes at all levels of play. It is estimated that between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. each year during competitive sports and recreational activities.* My fellow licensed athletic trainers (LATs) and I have become very concerned with these statistics, which is why we have partnered with ImPACT in an effort to provide state-of-the-art concussion care to athletes throughout the Fox Valley.

What is the Community Baseline Project?
It is a program that offers a Baseline ImPACT computerized test for any local athlete who does not already have access to a cognitive test through their club or school. These tests are to be done before a concussion occurs in order to establish a baseline or “normal” cognitive score.

The test costs $10 and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Several Affinity providers, including myself, who are trained in concussion management and ImPACT testing, can administer the test. These baseline tests are suggested every two years, starting at age 11 (must be 11 years old at the time of the test). Baseline reports help serve as a comparison to a repeat ImPACT test if a concussion is suspected. This helps assess the damage caused by a concussion.

The ImPACT test is a computer-based testing of neurocognitive responses (i.e. – memory, concentration, eye-hand speed, processing and reaction). All of these are improved with good rest and healthy habits. Getting rest and proper nutrition is essential to performing at each person’s optimal level. See “how to prepare” section below for details.

How to register:
Testing will be done on two separate days each month at the below locations. To register, call Affinity NurseDirect at 800.362.9900 or visit the online registration page. Please plan on your appointment taking up to 60 minutes for proper instruction and directions.

Mercy Medical Center – Oshkosh
Classrooms 1 and 2 (lower level of the hospital. Enter at main entrance.)
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 – 6 p.m.
Monday, August 11, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Monday, August 25, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 6:30 p.m.

St. Elizabeth Hospital – Appleton
Helen Fowler Conference Room 1, 2 and 3 (enter at main entrance)
Monday, July 14, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Monday, July 21, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 – 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 6:30 p.m.

How to prepare:

  • Continue to take any prescribed medications for ADD or ADHD; even if you typically stop taking it during the summer, please continue until after the test.
  • Bring a signed copy of the ImPACT permission slip. (Affinity NurseDirect will send this to you after you register.)
  • If 18 years or older, bring a valid ID and/or proof of identity.
  • If under 18 years old, a parent and/or guardian must be present. Parents will accompany their child into the testing lab to complete the demographics portion; however, parents will NOT be allowed to remain in the computer lab during the test. A waiting room will be available for parents during testing.
  • Please do not bring other children who are not completing the test. The computer labs have limited space available.
  • Please refrain from strenuous exercise for three hours prior to taking the test.
  • Prior to testing, get plenty of rest. Be sure to eat and drink plenty of water the day of the test. Good rest, nutrition and hydration are very important to feeling your best on testing day.

Results:
Baseline test results are stored by Affinity Health System and will only need to be accessed if a concussion occurs. If your son/daughter has suffered a concussion, please make an appointment with a specially trained Affinity concussion provider. The results will be available at the appointment and reviewed by the provider. A complete list of these providers can be found by contacting NurseDirect at 800.362.9900 or by visiting affinityhealth.org/concussion.

*Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Wald MM. The epidemiology and impact of traumatic brain injury: a brief overview. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2006;21(5):375-378

About Brian Milnarich

Brian Milnarich, MBA, LAT, is a licensed athletic trainer at Affinity Health System. Brian specializes in the prevention, recognition, treatment and rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports medicine injuries. He has worked with athletes in youth sports, high school, college and professional rankings. Brian is specially trained in the evaluation of gait analysis and has worked with local runners and exercise enthusiasts throughout the Fox Valley for the past twelve years. Brian received his degree in Athletic Training and Health Promotion and Wellness from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

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