Concussion awareness starts with ImPACT









Concussion awareness starts with ImPACT

Under the Friday night lights, a thrilling play ends with a player down. As the injured athlete is carried from the field, the team doctoron the sidelines starts asking questions. One of the first answers will come from a neuropsychological test called Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing or ImPACT.

Gwinnett County Public Schools has partnered with the sports medicine team at Gwinnett Medical Center and the Hospital Sports Medicine Committee to put the technology of the ImPACT program to work for Gwinnett student-athletes, ensuring they are properly assessed following an injury and fully re-covered from a concussion before returning to their sport and to the classroom. Proper diagnosis allows for accommodations, if needed, so a student doesn’t suffer academically during recovery.At the beginning of the season, Gwinnett’s student-athletes take the ImPACT test as a baseline of their cognitive per-formance.

Should a student sustain an injury, he will take ImPACT testing on the sidelines to compare to baseline results. Retests measure the student’s prog-ress toward recovery.To date, more than 2,000 GCPS student-athletes have taken baseline tests through ImPACT, with 80 concussions confirmed through retests. Though football was the first sport to pilot the program, plans call for basketball, cheerleading, soccer, and wrestling to join the line-up of sports offering the baseline screening next year. Click here for the story of one student-athlete’s experience with ImPACT.