New concussion guidelines in effect

-A A +A
By Josh Veatch

Beginning May 1, 2012, House Bill 281 signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear, went into effect. The bill prevents student athletes from continuing to play if they experience a concussion or exhibit symptoms of a concussion. Kentucky was among 19 states petitioned by the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association to support legislation to decrease the number of concussions suffered by student athletes.

"The law is a great first step toward making the field of play safer for our student athletes," said Doug Means, Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team (KORT) Director of Sports Medicine. "Properly educating coaches, parents, and student athletes is a major part of the legislation and something that over time will make a big impact."

KORT has begun to implement a new concussion management program that better assists in diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of concussions. The KORT program does initial baseline cognitive testing of athletes to determine where they are prior to any injury. After an injury, the baseline testing results will help determine when a student athlete is ready to return to the field of play.

Since August 2011, KORT has tested nearly 2,000 student athletes in the Louisville and Lexington area, and are expecting to test at least another 1,000 students into the fall.

Properly diagnosing concussions and seeking treatment early helps athletes recover more quickly, and for this reason KORT developed its new Concussion Management Program.

The test performed by KORT is known as impact testing. Impact testing is like a preseason physical of the brain and its purpose is to store a baseline level of cognitive function. The test takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and measures many different aspects of cognitive functioning. Some areas included are attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, response variability, non-verbal problem solving, and reaction time.

To schedule an impact test, contact Doug Means at (502) 544-0323 or email at dmeans@kort.com.