ImPACT Concussion Management
A new way to evaluate head injuries.
Athletes can take some pretty hard hits to the head in their sport, and when they do, they all take a different amount of time to recover. A concussion caused by a blow to the head can be serious. Even more serious is a second blow to the head before a previous concussion has healed.
The developing brains of children are particularly vulnerable to the long-term effects of concussion. Children’s brains are not fully developed and take longer to heal. Multiple concussions may increase the risk for chronic headaches, thinking and memory impairment, permanent dizziness and personality changes. If a second blow to the head occurs before a first one is fully healed, a condition called second impact syndrome may cause brain swelling and could even be fatal.
That’s why Shakopee, Chaska and Chanhassen high school athletic departments purchased the ImPACT (Immediate Post concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) program administered by St. Francis Sports Medicine. St. Francis Sports Medicine professionals manage the testing process to high school athletes using a computer and the 20-30 minute ImPACT test that measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning. Participants in many high school sports are required to take a baseline test before being allowed to participate in competition.
ImPACT tests the brain function of student athletes before they participate in sports, including memory, brain processing speed and reaction time. If they experience a blow to their head, the same measurements will be taken again. The before-and-after comparison will show the degree of injury and help determine when it has healed. The score of the ImPACT test—along with observation of symptoms at rest and with exertion—helps doctors, coaches and trainers determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to the sport.
For more information on ImPact testing or concussion management, please call St. Francis Sports Medicine at one of our convenient locations.