ImPACT software will assess athletes’ condition following concussion
Mercy Physician Group (MPG) and Fort Scott Community College (FSCC) have teamed up to provide Fort Scott High School student athletes with ImPACT testing beginning this fall.
ImPACT is one of the first and most widely used computerized concussion evaluation systems. ImPACT stands for Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. It does not replace other post-concussion evaluation systems but is to be used in conjunction with them in order to more accurately assess an athlete’s condition following a concussion.
If the athlete sustains a concussion during the season, the typical sideline exam will be administered. Twenty-four hours after the injury, the first post-concussion ImPACT exam can be administered. The test must be administered by an athletic trainer or a physician.
Results of the ImPACT test will be paired with personal evaluations done by the certified athletic trainer or physician to determine if it is safe for the athlete to return to activity. An athlete can do as many tests as needed, with about 48 hours between tests. The athlete may return to play once specific protocols are met, including normal ImPACT scores.
“FSCC invested in the ImPACT software one year ago,” said Eric Baldonado, Mercy’s Director of Rehab Services. “With MPG’s support, now Fort Scott High School athletes will have access to the same level of quality care. This is just one more way to demonstrate the concern Mercy Hospital has for the athlete’s safety and long-term well being.”
The ImPACT program has proven to be a good investment for FSCC; offering unbiased data and assurance it is safe for the athlete to participate.
"FSCC first heard about the ImPact software at one of our regional meetings in 2010,” stated J.D. Ettore, FSCC Athletic Director. “After talking to Eric at Mercy and Justin, our athletic trainer, getting this software for FSCC student-athletes became a top priority."
"FSCC is thrilled to play a part in expanding the use of this software to FSHS because we know firsthand how much it will assist our local high school student-athletes.”
“What makes this test great is that while the athlete may say they feel better, the test can properly assess brain function and response,” said Justin Allphin, FSCC Certified Athletic Trainer who will administer the ImPACT exams. “It creates accountability between the athletes and the clinicians.”
“There are many cases throughout the country where an athlete passed a loosely conducted return-to-play protocol when their brain has not yet completely healed,” Allphin explained. “Our hopes are that the ImPACT tests can decrease the number of second-impact syndromes seen in youth, high school, and collegiate athletes.”
In the professional ranks, the NHL mandates that every team use ImPACT. A large number of NFL and MLB teams have followed suit.
“Supporting this program is simply the right thing to do,” said Annamarie Holmes, Mercy Physician Group Director.
“Mercy’s physicians are passionate about injury prevention,” added Holmes. “The ImPACT program minimizes the likelihood of re-injury by using thorough computerized post-concussion examinations.”
Mercy Physician Group is partially funding the program. With their contribution, the software license was upgraded to cover testing for approximately 50 additional student athletes.
For more information about the Mercy Sports Medicine program, call Eric Baldonado at 620-223-8462 or visit www.mercy.net.