Health Check: Free pre-concussion testing offered in RI
Free pre-concussion testing is being offered in Rhode Island.
Emily D'Abrosca plays three sports at Mount St. Charles in Woonsocket.
"I play soccer, basketball and softball here,” she said.
As a student athlete, she is required to take a test every school year. It's not a test you can pass or fail.
It's called the impact test.
"The impact test is a test that tests memory and reaction time and it's supposed to be done as a baseline prior to any concussion," said Doreen Grasso, youth sports concussion program coordinator for the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island.
Jack Boisvert, who plays hockey there, has been taking the test every year since he’s been in high school. He said he knows what a concussion feels like.
"I did have a mild concussion when I was younger. It was really painful, to be honest,” said Boisvert, also noting that he hasn’t had a concussion since he’s been in high school. “Like, your head just throbs.”
And that's why the impact test is being offered.
“It's a very useful tool for a neurologist, for students and athletes, that get a concussion,” said Grasso. “They can look at the post test and compare the pre concussion results."
"It is really a great partnership,” Richard Lawrence, athletic director at Mt. St. Charles, said of the relationship between his school and the Brain Injury Association of RI.
The partnership is open to all student athletes in Rhode Island.
"Through the RI Concussion Management Consortium, they make this test available free of charge to every middle school and high school student in the state of Rhode Island," said Grasso.
"In the last couple of years we've had over 30 diagnosed concussions per year," said Lawrence.
Those were the ones that were diagnosed.
"I think awareness, education is really important here," said Lawrence.
That's another service the Brain Injury Association offers to participating schools, education. Through written materials, and on site.
"I've gone in to classrooms from K through 12 to talk to kids about concussions and the importance of concussion because what we're trying to do is change the culture of communication,” said Grasso. “We don't want people to hide it.”
The impact test was approved by the FDA in 2016 to be performed every other year for high school students, as well as every year for middle school students,
For more information, contact the Brain Injury Association of RI at 401-228-3319 or by clicking here.