Northwest Suburbs Concussion Screenings

Northwest Suburbs Concussion Screenings

Northwest Suburbs Concussion Screenings

A concussion is a type of brain injury that may be caused by a bump or blow to the head. Usually when a concussion occurs, the force of the injury causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Although concussions may appear to be common, their effects can be quite serious.

Signs and symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache, balance problems
  • Fuzzy or blurred vision
  • Difficulty with memory and thinking clearly
  • Sleep problems, nausea or vomiting

If you get a concussion while playing contact sports, it is especially important to let your body heal before you return to athletic activities. Once a person has a head injury, he or she is at greater risk of sustaining concussions in the future and suffering long-term effects.

The Northwestern Medicine Sports Concussion program includes a cognitive baseline assessment and the follow-up care necessary to provide the best possible outcomes. The full assessment takes 30 to 40 minutes using the ImPACT test:

  • An online testing program used to test cognitive ability with certified impact consultants
  • The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive function in athletes including working memory, reaction time, speed and concentration
  • The combination of baseline and post injury testing helps to evaluate a student’s condition and their ability for a safe return to play (recommended for ages 10 to 18)

Be Prepared

If a concussion does occur, Northwestern Medicine offers a team of neurologists to provide follow-up care. At this time, a neurologist will assess the severity of the injury by testing brain functions and cognitive control processes and balance. After this assessment a healthcare professional will determine when it is safe for the patient to return to play.

Patients may schedule a baseline test any time before an injury occurs. The results are valid for two years and do not require a physician visit. To schedule a baseline assessment, call the Northwestern Medicine Concussion Hotline at 815.759.4342. Northwestern Medicine also offers group baseline assessment screenings for school and youth sport leagues.

Help us Prevent Second-Impact Syndrome

Second-impact syndrome can occur when a person sustains a second concussion while the brain is still healing from a previous concussion. This rare yet dangerous condition can cause rapid brain swelling and bleeding that can lead to death or permanent disability.

Adolescent athletes are most at risk for second-impact syndrome. The only way to prevent it is to remove an athlete with a concussion from practice and play until the first concussion has healed and he or she has been cleared by a health care professional.