The National Football League utilizes ImPACT testing for concussions.
The National Hockey League and Major League Baseball do, too.
And so does Tidioute Community Charter School.
"Tidioute Community Charter School is currently implementing an innovative program for our students, especially our athletes," according to a press release from the school. "In order to better manage concussions sustained by our student-athletes, we have acquired a software called ImPACT."
Short for Immediate Post Assessment and Cognitive Testing, the testing was implemented for students starting with this winter sports season "so there is a baseline level in the event that they receive a concussion," Nicole Chapman, school nurse at TCCS, said. "Physicians are able to test them to see if they return to their baseline."
The ImPACT test, developed by doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has "proven to be a useful tool in measuring the severity and effects of concussions and determining when it is safe for concussed athletes to return to sports or activity," the release said. "The computerized exam is given to athletes before beginning contact sport practice or competition. This non-invasive test is set up in a 'video-game' type format and takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Essentially, the ImPACT test is a preseason physical of the brain. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration."
Indicating that there is no cost to the student, Chapman said she had several student take part in the exam on Tuesday. She said that they were "giggling and laughing about it. They went on it with an open mind. None of them grumbled about it. None of them complained." She said that the students seemed to understand the value of the test should they receive a concussion.
If a concussion is suspected throughout the course of the season, the athlete will take the test again. "Both the preseason and post-injury test data is given to a local doctor to help evaluate the injury," the release said. "The test data will enable these health professionals to determine when return-to-play is appropriate and safe for the injured athlete."
All NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball teams utilize ImPACT testing as do over 300 major colleges and universities nationwide.
"The Tidioute Community Charter School administration, health and coaching staffs are striving to keep our children's health and safety at the forefront of the student athletic experience," said the release.