MERRIAM, Kan. – Whether it’s during a game of football or the result of a nasty fall, getting hit in the head shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any trauma to the head can lead to a concussion – a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head moves at a rapid speed and then suddenly stops, causing the brain to shift inside the skull.
“Many people think concussions are temporary injuries, but in some cases there is more permanent damage,” says Gregg Coup, MD, Family Medicine Physician with Shawnee Mission Primary Care. “Regardless, it’s important to receive prompt treatment for the best recovery.”
Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s (SMMC) ImPACT Concussion Program can help identify concussions. Participants take a standardized computer test, which evaluates memory, attention and reaction time. If a head injury occurs, the test can be given again and comparisons are made based on prior answers. Physicians look for any change in neurocognitive function that may suggest concussion.
“It’s not a replacement for a physical exam, but another tool we can use to help determine if someone has suffered a concussion and help track their recovery process,” Coup says. “When we think they are ready to return to their activity, we gradually work them back into the field of play under the supervision of one of our athletic trainers.”
Although a baseline test may not be available for most adults, they can still participate in the ImPACT program.
“We can evaluate by doing comparisons across other tests so even those who haven’t had the pre-test can still use the program if deemed necessary,” says Coup.
To learn more about SMMC’s ImPACT Concussion Program or to make an appointment, call 913-789-1940 or visit ShawneeMission.org/PrimaryCare.
About Shawnee Mission Medical Center
Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) is a 504-bed facility with nearly 20,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually. SMMC has the busiest emergency department in Johnson County, the area's first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center, a nationally recognized Center for Women's Health and delivers more babies each year than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. SMMC employs more than 2,900 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties, the largest medical staff in Kansas City. Visit us on the Web at ShawneeMission.org.