Concussion Testing to Determine Extent of Traumatic Head Injury

Fair Warning reports on the controversy over the ImPACT test, which stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, given to school athletes both before and after a head injury. There are about 1.7 million concussions in the U.S. every year where the brain is shaken around inside the skull, which can result in traumatic brain injuries with symptoms such as headaches, an inability to focus, mood change, and dizziness.

A player’s memory, reaction time, and ability to pay attention are all measured by the computer-based ImPACT test.

The Florida brain injury attorneys of Farah & Farah understand that almost any sport can lead to head trauma, but professional football players have brought most of the attention to the problem, especially if they are injured a second time while recovering.

In school athletics, about 2 million student athletes who play football, lacrosse, ice hockey, and even soccer have taken the test in 33 different states and the District of Columbia.

Some students are tested just before the season so it can be used as a baseline if there is an injury later. If an athlete is injured in the game, he or she will be tested again to determine when they can re-enter the game. The tests reveal that kids who return to sports too quickly after an injury may slow their recovery.

A clean test will provide the medical clearance an athlete needs to re-enter the game.

Critics say this is a way to shield a school from litigation. That may in part explain the number of supporters, but being sure an athlete has fully recovered from a traumatic brain injury before proceeding can only be good for the athlete.