10-15% of athletes will get a concussion this season. Coaches, parents, and athletes need to be aware of what concussions are, what are the signs and symptoms, and what to do if a concussion occurs. Too many athletes go undiagnosed, and do not undergo proper physical and cognitive testing to determine if they have recovered before returning to play. There have been numerous horror stories in the media of what can happen if a concussion is not properly taken care of. It can possibly lead to permanent injury, or even death.
FITS Toronto has teamed up with Complete Concussion ManagementTM, a multidisciplinary network of healthcare professionals committed to delivering the highest level of concussion care to athletes of all ages. We want you to be safe and performing at your best!
Why Baseline Concussion Testing important?
A baseline test is a physical and mental test to determine your unique “score”. After a concussion, this “score” changes. Having your own objective baseline give us a target to aim for with our Return-To-Sport protocol (more on this below). Thus, we can best determine when you have fully recovered.
Without this comparison, the athlete may return to sport prior to them being fully recovered. This may delay full recovery and may also lead to permanent injury.
Every athlete that conduct their baseline will receive a complimentary ID card that they can keep on their gym bag. This card holds your unique ID number that will be used on the online database of Complete Concussion Management. Thus, if the athlete happens to get concussed while away in a tournament, you can find a local clinic that is certified with Complete Concussion Management and receive care as soon as possible. Your information will be accessed and updated on the online system by the healthcare provider.
A baseline test takes approximately 45 minutes to complete, plus an additional online test that will be done in a quiet environment without distractions.
A baseline test should be performed on an annual basis.
Why monitor Return-To-Sport?
If you do endure a concussion, you should come into FITS Toronto within 48 hrs of the injury. Thus it is imperative that you schedule your appointment immediately after your injury.
Even if the athlete does not have a baseline test, it is imperative to ensure that the athlete is fully recovered prior to them returning to sport. Numerous studies have shown that if an athlete receives another concussion prior to fully recovering from their previous one, the number and severity of symptoms increase dramatically. Of course, this will further delay when you will be ready to return to your sport.
There are 10 stages that the athlete must pass to determine when they have recovered. Each stage is unique, and will challenge your cognitive and physical fitness. Part of the protocol is to implement the same physical test that the Chicago Blackhawks NHL medical staff use.
There is no such thing as a “strong brain”. This Return-To-Sport protocol
What should I do before I come into FITS?
Here are some things that you should do right after a concussion:
-Book your appointment immediately. Call FITS at 416-628-4333, or email at email@example.com.
-Do not take any medication – this can mask some symptoms that can make us aware of something more serious.
-Do not go to sleep within the first 3 hours of the concussion – this is done to monitor for signs of worsening condition. It is normal to feel tired post-concussion, but it is an important period to monitor. If your symptoms are getting worse, have someone take you to the emergency room.
-Have somebody wake you up every 2 hours the first night after a concussion – the person waking you up should take note on how easy it is to wake you up, and to ask if they know where they are.
Baseline Concussion Testing:
Individual Baseline Concussion Testing – Age 12 and under – $100
Individual Baseline Concussion Testing – Age 13 and over – $125
Team Baseline Concussion Testing – Age 12 and under (minimum of 10 players) – $60
Team Baseline Concussion Testing – Age 13 and over (minimum of 10 players) – $85
Return-To-Sport Treatment – Costs will vary depending on severity of injury and recovery time
All fees are covered under most extended health care benefits.