ST. LOUIS -- As kids return to school and sports seasons begin, the chances of concussions and head injury often increase. Last year, Mercy Children’s Hospital treated 750 kids with concussions. Children need special care to ensure a full recovery following a concussion.
Mercy recently opened Mercy Clinic Children's Post Concussion Service, a new practice focused on offering children ages 10-18 with a recent history of concussion a coordinated approach to the follow-up care that is required following the injury.
Sarah Alander, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Mercy Children’s Hospital with additional training in concussion management, will see patients in the new clinic practice.
The office offers education about concussions, balance testing, symptom management, return to play decisions for athletes and neurocognitive evaluation using the web-based ImPact program. Specialized care for patients experiencing complications from concussion – those with recurrent headache, balance problems, emotional issues and sleep problems will be coordinated with other specialists through the clinic.
“This new team approach to concussion management will benefit those kids who have been diagnosed with concussion and make it easier for parents and primary care providers,” Dr. Alander said. “Using the computer testing we can measure subtle but important functions that could be missed in a primary care in-office exam and tailor treatment for each child.”
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 a child’s condition following a concussion.
The computer evaluations can track functions such as verbal memory, visual memory and reaction time. In addition to using the program after a concussion, the practice also offers athletes base-line evaluations prior to sports participation (in the event a concussion occurs) for a nominal fee.
The practice is located in the Mercy Doctors Building at 621 S. New Ballas Rd., Suite 537A. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 314-251-2055 or visit www.mercychildrens.net.
With a legacy of faith-based care more than 150 years strong, Mercy Children’s includes pediatric hospitals in St. Louis and Springfield, Mo. Kids are cared for by more than 700 primary care providers, including pediatricians and family doctors, and more than 125 pediatric specialists. Mercy Children’s also supports healthy childhoods through educational outreach programs across four states. For more about Mercy Children’s, visit www.mercychildrens.net.
Mercy Children’s is part of Mercy - the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.