District 211 Uses Impact Software to Increase Concussion Awareness

Article excerpt

Byline: Courtesy of D211 Post

District 211 staff have worked hard to create awareness about head injuries for all student athletes involved in contact sports. Injuries in contact sports, which include football, cheerleading and soccer, to name a few, are heavily monitored by coaches, athletes and parents.

Throughout the past few years, Impact software has been used to keep track of an individual athlete's brain activity for head injuries, specifically concussions. This technological assessment has allowed athletic trainers and coaches to more effectively judge whether or not an athlete is injured and when they can return to competition.

"The start of the process is at the beginning of the season, when parents and student-athletes sign paperwork that is required by the state saying concussions are a danger in any type of sport or activity," said John Shoro, head athletic trainer at Conant High School.

"Then we do a baseline test of what is considered relatively normal in terms of brain function using Impact software. Once we have that baseline, which is good for two years, we will do another test if a student-athlete is suspected of having a concussion to see if he or she is showing any deficient in brain function and the extent."

The software monitors brain activity and response time during a test. The results on this assessment show how the individual's brain functions when they are not injured. If a student-athlete is suspected of an injury, or want to return from a concussion, they will have to complete the test again within 72 hours of the impact.

A student-athlete will only be able to return if brain activity matches previous baseline data in conjunction with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) guidelines, or after five days with no symptoms. …