Episcopal's Concussion Care Program Athletic Department Priority | Families

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Episcopal's Concussion Care Program Athletic Department Priority
Families, Health, Schools

As the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee reviews a bill to create concussion standards for high school athletes (H.R. 6172 Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act of 2010), Episcopal High School is at the forefront of ensuring the safety of its students on the playing field, especially of those in contact sports.

“Concussion testing is an imperative part of any high school athletic program. Episcopal is dedicated to prioritizing concussion treatment among student athletes and non-athletes,” said Interim Athletic Director Keesy Goebertus. “Episcopal strives to ensure the safety of the student’s health, while not forgetting the impact a student’s health has on their academic responsibilities.”

Each year, Episcopal provides computer-based concussion testing for its student athletes. The computerized test, called ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), was developed at the University of Pittsburgh and is used by many top collegiate athletic programs. During a practice at the beginning of the season the ImPACT test is administered to student athletes on the School’s computers in the library.

“The test registers reaction times and comprehension, and provides a baseline which is subsequently used to assess the impact of any head injuries that may occur,” said Episcopal Head Athletic Trainer Andy Carter. “The test is helpful in determining when it is safe for a player who was injured to return to the playing field. While participation is voluntary, the School encourages all students playing contact sports be tested annually.”

Episcopal follows the concussion recovery guidelines set by the American Academy of Neurology. Episcopal’s concussion procedures for student athletes include:

  • Waiting until the athlete is symptom-free prior to allowing post concussion testing; and symptom assessment on a daily basis;
  • Clearing the athlete to play again is dependent upon severity of the concussion, and procedures are followed accordingly;
  • Athletes must also check in with the School counselor prior to attending any classes;
  • The School counselor will monitor athlete’s academic progress and make recommendations concerning academic workload.

“Unless otherwise dictated by a physician, athletes will be expected to return to full academic requirements when cleared for full athletic participation by the Athletic Trainer,” said Goebertus. “While we are extremely concerned for our athletes’ health and ability to contribute to their team, we cannot forget that a concussion can negatively impact their academic achievements.”

Families, Health, Schools

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