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Head Trauma Affects HS Curriculum

By Staff | Sep 15, 2010

Participation in athletic programs is an added benefit to the rigors of the academic curriculum in high school, where head trauma may occur. Repeated concussions can result in serious medical conditions as the student ages.

Magnolia High School administration and athletic staff members are striving to keep student athlete health and safety at the forefront of a successful athletic experience. The West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commissioners requires student injuries, especially those to the head, to be examined by health practitioners to determine appropriate return-to-play time for the student- athlete’s safety.

To that end, the school is participating in the ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment) program. The tool can be used during practice or competition to help determine the severity of the head injury and when the injury has healed. This computer-driven program has been used successfully at all levels across the country to diagnose and manage concussions suffered as a part of athletic play.

A 15-20 minute test uses a “video-game” type format to provide baseline data on memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration. If a coach suspects an athlete has a concussion, the student will be required to re-take the test, which will be sent to a local doctor or neuropsychologist – with pre/post data – to help evaluate the injury.

According to Brian Castilow, MHS Athletic Director, the program provides “the best available information for managing concussions and preventing potential brain damage than can occur with multiple concussions.” He reminds parents that this in a non-invasive procedure and says that parents will be promptly notified should further action be necessary.

Questions about the program can be answered by Castilow or Donna Sands, school nurse, by calling the school during regular hours. Additional information can be found at www.impacttest.com.