Fall 2008 Issue

Saving Lives With Free Concussion Tests

With three concussion-related deaths of student-athletes occurring in North Carolina this year, the importance of effective concussion management is more obvious than ever. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and SunTrust Bank are doing their part to ensure the safety of this region's young athletes by offering free concussion testing to 5,000 middle school and high school student-athletes in Mecklenburg, Gaston and Cabarrus counties.

On August 1, 2008, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, through a financial contribution by SunTrust Bank, began offering free ImPACT baseline testing, the same used by the NFL and NHL, for students who participate in football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, wrestling and lacrosse.

“Proper management of a concussion is crucial to preventing additional injuries that can be debilitating and even deadly,” said David Wiercisiewski, M.D., a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates and Director of the Carolina Sports Concussion Program. “We appreciate SunTrust Bank helping us seize this opportunity to educate young athletes and their parents about the dangers of concussions, and also complete testing that can help each athlete safely return to play as quickly as possible after recovering from a concussion injury.”

This test, taken at the start of a sports season, provides a true cognitive baseline measurement that can be used for comparative purposes should an athlete sustain a concussion injury. The ImPACT test has been in clinical use for almost a decade and several professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, and NHL as well as numerous amateur organizations, use the test for their athletes. The actual baseline testing will be conducted at the athlete's school, under the supervision of an athletic trainer.

For more information about concussion testing or the Carolina Sports Concussion Program, call 704-831-4323 or go to www.ConcussionRecovery.com.

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