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Irvington School District Puts Emphasis On Concussion Management

Irvington School District launches advanced plan initiative to avoid concussions.
Irvington School District launches advanced plan initiative to avoid concussions. Photo Credit: blog.affinityhealth.org

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- When the student-athletes of the Irvington School District take the field for fall sports they will be equipped with an advanced plan of action to prevent serious injury.

During the past several months district Athletic Director Artie McCormack and Dr. Mark Herceg, an Irvington parent and director of the Neuropsychology, Brain Injury Unit at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, have developed a comprehensive program to manage student-athlete head injuries.

The district has launched a new initiative, which includes the addition of a full-time athletic trainer and new procedures to establish cognitive baselines for student-athletes.

"We introduced a multiple measure approach to collect a wider array of data on our students and are also assessing more students than in the past," said Schools Superintendent Kristopher Harrison, a member of the concussion management team.

"These efforts, along with our continued work with the school physician, will lead to a deeper pool of data to help assess head injuries and inform the treatment they may receive.”

All 250 high school student-athletes participating in fall sports have received ImPACT (a computerized neurocognitive exam), which is one of the most-widely used computerized concussion evaluation systems.

In addition, approximately 140 student-athletes playing varsity and junior varsity high-contact sports including football, field hockey and girls and boys soccer were tested with ImPACT, the King-Devick Concussion Screening Test and the Standardized Assessment of Concussion.

The latter two will also be utilized for sideline assessments of student-athletes who sustain concussions. This will allow for real time, objective measurement of concussion, which will determine removal from competition.

The required preseason testing has provided a baseline for Irvington student-athletes and will allow for efficient sideline assessments. The post-injury screening will provide an additional level of medical clearance that ensures students are not only symptom free, but that their cognitive and spatial skills are on par with their original evaluation.

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