According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 200,000 people in the United States suffer concussions while playing sports every year. Collegiate School has two full-time Athletic Trainers who are Licensed Health Care Providers trained to evaluate and manage concussions.
Each year our Athletic Trainers administer a baseline cognitive test called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion and Cognitive Test
) to all rising 7th graders. This computer-based test measures immediate and delayed memory, reaction time, processing speed and concentration. The objective data is one of the tools we use to determine a student's readiness to return to physical activity following a concussion.
Our Athletic Trainers also use several sideline tests to help manage concussions. The King-Devick Test
(KD Test) measures rapid eye movement, visual tracking and related cognitive responses. It is an accurate and reliable method for identifying athletes with head trauma. We use this sideline test to objectively determine whether athletes should be removed from play for further assessment.
The SWAY balance test
is an FDA-cleared mobile balance system that monitors for signs of balance-related dysfunction. Sway Balance measures stability using the built in motion sensors of any iOS mobile device to quantify postural sway. It also measures reaction time by shaking the iPhone when indicated. The Athletic Trainer will use their iPhone to test an athlete's balance and reaction time on the sideline and compare the scores to their baseline.
The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) is another sideline tool we use for assessing signs and symptoms, memory, orientation and concentration.
All of these tests are used to determine if any head trauma exists, the severity of the injury, and readiness to return to physical activity. Concussions are complex and sometimes invisible injuries. These evaluation tools have been extremely helpful to our Athletic Trainers as they have to make difficult decisions to sideline an athlete for their safety.