The community health center New River Health has partnered with Fayette County schools to offer a concussion-management protocol for athletes.
The idea behind the protocol is to test high school athletes before they are injured so medical providers have a baseline on record. Then, if a concussion is suspected, the athlete is tested again to allow for a comparison between pre and post-concussion data.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center developed the ImPACT test in 2009. It’s used by the Pittsburgh Steelers and some of the public schools in southwestern Pennsylvania. The test is a computer-based game-like assessment that tests things like reaction time, memory and processing speed.
According to New River Health, Marshall and WVU baseline test their student-athletes, but the New River Health initiative will be the first in the state specifically for high school students.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.