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2012 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Sports Medicine Program Implements ImPACT Test
03/05/2012

Tool to Minimize Risk for Student Athletes Who Suffer Concussions    

CLEARWATER, Fla., (March 5, 2012) – Morton Plant Mease’s sports medicine program for student athletes recently implemented ImPACT, Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, an objective measurement tool used for concussion screenings. Part of a trial program geared for high school student athletes, ImPACT is a neurocognitive test that measures visual and verbal memory, reaction time, impulse control and visual motor time. The baseline test can then be compared to a follow up test after a concussion occurs to determine if there are any changes in the brain and whether or not the student athlete needs to be sidelined for a period of time. It is the same neurocognitive program used by the NFL, NHL, MLB and several college programs. 

Concussions are brain injuries that disrupt normal brain functions and caused by a bump, jolt or blow to the head or body. Some signs of a concussion include headaches, nausea, balance problems, concentration or memory problems, confusion, and blurry vision. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of sports-related concussions is highest in high school aged athletes. 

"Concussions can lead to problems with learning and scholastic performance so it’s important to understand the severity of a concussion before allowing an athlete to return to play and minimizing risk of further complications,” says Ted Farrar, MD, Morton Plant Mease family and sports medicine physician. “We can now use this objective data to help manage the concussion more effectively and compare test results during the recovery to determine when the student athlete can get back on the field.”  

Morton Plant Mease’s comprehensive concussion management program involves certified athletic trainers, primary care physicians, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists and certified vestibular physical therapists. The program’s goal is to increase awareness among parents, coaches and student athletes and provide educational materials and follow up evaluations to determine return to play timelines for student athletes.

Currently, ImPACT testing is being done on student athletes at Seminole High School and Clearwater High School with the goal of providing the concussion management testing at several other Pinellas County high schools.

About Morton Plant Mease

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org

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Media Contact: Denise Moore, (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager