Concussions are common injuries in contact sports like hockey, football and basketball and some studies show that up to 10% of athletes in physical sports will experience a concussion in their athletic career. Sports like soccer and hockey pose an even higher risk for athletes due to the nature of the sport, but in reality every athlete is always at risk in contact sports.

Complementary Pre-Concussion Baseline Screening

While some concussions are minor and just need time for the brain to heal and others more complicated and severe, for the safety of the athlete, all head injuries should be examined by a knowledgeable physician. For this reason, IBJI is offering complementary pre-concussion baseline screening for all athletes in the area. Pre-concussion screening is one of the best ways to help physicians evaluate concussions.

What is Baseline Screening?

The baseline screening consists of a computer administered test called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). The test addresses several cognitive areas including memory, symptoms, and reaction time and only takes about twenty minutes to complete. Concussions are handled on an individual basis and the ImPACT provides an objective evaluation for each athlete.

Physicians are able to refer to this baseline as normal for this athlete when comparing it to a post-injury score and thus more effectively guide the management of each specific concussion. ImPACT is recognized world-wide as an accurate and effective way to assess brain function and safely guide an athlete’s return to a sport following a head injury.

So When Can I Go Back In?

In accordance with Illinois state law, any athlete who sustained a concussion must be cleared by a physician prior to rejoining the sport.  So if you want to get back in the game make sure you get your complementary ImPACT screening as soon as possible. It only takes about 20 minutes and will help your physician make the best recommendations in the event of a head injury.