During sports activities, an individual can suffer a hit to the head by an object such as a ball, stick or bat. They could also collide into another person, an opponent, or their own teammate, risking injury to their head. They may even contact the ground forcefully all of which are common mechanisms for receiving sports concussions. You may have heard of someone sustaining a 'ding'. This is still classified as a concussion. Although the concussion can range from slight to severe, one needs to realize that an injury to the brain has occurred.
The Florida Hospital Sports Concussion Program utilizes state of the art protocols including the use of IMPACT™ computerized neurocognitive testing software (learn more at: www.impacttest.com). The athletes are baseline tested prior to the start of their sport season on a series of neuro-cognitive tests (25-30 minutes). These tests challenge the athlete’s concentration, verbal memory, design memory, reaction time and mental processing ability. If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be put through the same computerized test within 24-48 hours following the initial injury and then once again after being symptom free. The results are compared to the athlete’s baseline and factored in to the management plan and return to play guidelines.
If an athlete did not receive a baseline test prior to the season, the impact test is still a useful tool for post concussion management. The testing results can be compared to large amounts of normative data that is available to the neuropsychologist who is a trained expert to analyze the data comparatively.
Baseline neurocognitive testing is now being recognized as a new standard of care for all athletes in contact and collision sports. Neurocognitive testing is currently being used by the NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, a majority of division I colleges and universities plus over 900 high schools across the country and 18 locally in Central Florida.
The Florida Hospital Sports Concussion Program was developed to aid athletes, coaches, certified athletic trainers, physicians and parents to recognize the symptoms and assist in the management of sports-related concussions. Our sports-concussion experts have been recognized both nationally and internationally for their work on sports-related concussion. Their experience and knowledge of sports-related concussion allows for world-class cutting edge care for all athletes evaluated and managed by our program.