Cape Regional Health System Concussion Specialists Screen Athletes at Special Olympics Basketball Tournament
April 12, 2017
CAPE MAY COUNTY – Four of Cape Regional Medical Center’s seven certified concussion specialists recently volunteered at Special Olympics New Jersey’s spring basketball finals, providing concussion baseline screenings for young athletes.
An estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To help prevent and properly diagnose concussions during the tournament, Cape Regional’s team of concussion specialists conducted screenings using the ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) Baseline Test. ImPACT is an online program that tests cognitive function – memory, problem solving, ability to concentrate and more – through a series of questions and problems. The ImPACT baseline is administered before physical activity, and an athlete’s baseline score is stored. If a concussion is suspected, the baseline can be compared to test results after a head injury.
“The importance of early concussion detection and providing proper education in terms of concussion recovery cannot be overemphasized,” says A.J. Weiss, MS OTR/L CBS, Manager of Occupational Therapy and Concussion Care at Cape Regional Health System. More than 600 local athletes competed during the event at the Wildwood Convention Center, and Weiss and his team conducted approximately 40 screenings.
“Parents were ecstatic, and the feedback was phenomenal,” Weiss says. “It was a great opportunity to provide community awareness about concussion care., Weiss says he regularly speaks to schools, sports teams and youth programs about the signs of a concussion and the screenings and treatments available at Cape Regional Health System’s Concussion Care Center. The Center is staffed with certified brain injury specialists, neurologists, local pediatricians who have performed more than 400 evaluations and 1,200 treatments.
"These tests could potentially save someone from suffering from a severe head injury for an unnecessary period of time,” he says. “You might read a lot about athletes and concussions, but it’s my goal to foster understanding in the community that concussions are not just about athletes – concussions can come from random falls and car accidents. You might not appear to be injured, but you might be and there is treatment for it.”
To learn more about Cape Regional’s Concussion Care Center or to schedule an appointment, please call 609-463-2629.