HICKORY, NC –
August 17 2017 – Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) has implemented a new tool
for managing concussions in area schools where it provides certified athletic
trainers, taking valuable measures to help prepare staff and students
for concussion management.
CVMC’s Director of
Sports MedicineMarcus Osborne says, “CVMC saw a need and an opportunity to improve
the care of athletes under its charge, so we are now offering
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) for all the
schools we cover.”
CVMC employs certified athletic trainers at six schools and has trained
them to administer the ImPACT testing, as well as interpret the data that
the tests produce. These schools include Bandys, Bunker Hill, Maiden,
Newton-Conover and St. Stephens high schools and Catawba Valley Community College.
Through a comprehensive online neurocognitive testing program, ImPACT measures
such things as memory, immediate recall and reaction time. The ImPACT
test takes about 20 minutes to complete and then, once it’s done,
the athletic trainer can either print out those results or look at them
electronically and compare the results side by side to aid with treatment
decisions that are made by the athlete’s healthcare provider or
another specialist should a head injury be identified.
Osborne adds, “As the athlete heals, they will retake the test and
once their score is back to the baseline and there are no other issues,
the athlete will be allowed to begin the return to play protocol.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one million children
a year suffer a concussion through sports or recreational activities.
Adolescents have a higher risk of concussion since the nerve cells and
connections of their brains don’t have the coating and insulation
that adults have. As common as this brain injury is, it’s often
difficult to diagnose. CVMC has been managing concussion at its covered
schools since it began working with schools in 2002.
Dr. Keith McManus, CVMC’s Sports Medicine program’s Medical
Director adds, “If an athlete experiences a concussion during a
sports season, our athletic trainers conduct a post-concussion ImPACT
test with the student. If the athlete did a baseline test prior to the
sports season, the post-concussion data is compared to the baseline data.
If not, the post-concussion data is compared to normative data. This information
helps physicians determine the student-athletes’ post-concussion
neurocognitive status and when it is safe for the student-athlete to return
to active sports and the classroom.”
For more information about CVMC’s Sports Medicine Program, contact
Marcus Osborne, CVMC’s Director of Fitness Center/Sports Medicine,