Search

The Patriot Ledger at SouthofBoston.com
Page 1 of 3
Search
southofboston.com
Tues., Nov. 22, 2005
LOCAL NEWS
|
SPORTS
|
LIFE & LEISURE | OPINION
DEATH NOTICES
|
SPECIAL REPORTS
Web
|
ARCHIVES
Full Forecast
LATEST NEWS
THE PATRIOT LEDGER
THE ENTERPRISE
OLD COLONY MEMORIAL
AP WORLD &
NATIONAL NEWS
LOCAL WEATHER
CLASSIFIEDS
Announcements
Automotive
Employment
Merchandise
Real Estate
Rentals
Recreation
Services
Yard Sales
Place an Ad
MORTGAGE CENTER
DEATH NOTICES
Patriot Ledger
Enterprise
Old Colony Memorial
HOME DELIVERY
Patriot Ledger
Enterprise
Local Town Newspapers
LOCAL GUIDES
Dining/Entertainment
Business Profiles
Home & Garden
Online Yellow Pages
PLYMOUTH GUIDE
STUDYING THE IMPACT: New test
helps diagnose the severity of high
school athletes’ head injuries
By JOE McGEE
The Patriot Ledger
HINGHAM - High school athletes from Hingham and
Weymouth are taking part in a new program that measures
the severity of head injuries.
ImPact, a cognitive test developed by the University of
Pittsburgh, was administered through South Shore Hospital to
hundreds of football and soccer players before the fall
season. Several other South Shore schools have been
involved to different degrees.
The program takes a baseline measurement of each
student’s cognitive abilities by putting them through a 30minute battery of questions. A score is given. If the player
suffers a head blow that trainers are concerned about, the
student retakes the test.
The injured student would be allowed back on the field only
when test results indicate that cognitive ability has been
recovered.
Hingham soccer player Sean Fitzmaurice described the test
as a series of fairly difficult questions that he couldn’t
complete after a jarring head shot.
‘‘It’s like lasting memory: How long you can keep something
in your brain. It was pretty hard,’’ he said.
SPECIAL SECTIONS
Living Well/Health News
Wedding/Bridal
Education & Training
ONLINE PERSONALS
Dr. Robert Driscoll, a general surgeon who is overseeing the
ImPact study at South Shore, said the program is being
promoted by leading trauma experts throughout the country
and is used in all the major professional sports leagues.
SOUTHOFBOSTON.COM
Archive
Contact Us
Work for Us
Newspapers in Education
Home Page
A simpler evaluation of rating head injuries on a scale from 1
to 3 is still used by trainers when a student comes off the field
after having their ‘‘bell rung.’’ But using that method alone is
‘‘woefully inadequate’’ in determining an athlete’s health,
Driscoll said.
The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
P.O. Box 699159
Quincy, MA 02269-9159
(617) 786-7000
CONTACT US
‘‘We found that that categorization didn’t determine the true
extent of injury, because unlike a common knee injury, you
can’t see the results of a concussion with a CAT scan or an
MRI,’’ said Driscoll, whose son Austin plays football for
Hingham High School.
The effects of a mild concussion can cause irritability,
personality change, fatigue and sleep difficulties, symptoms
that can last beyond the point when athletes are allowed to
http://www.patriotledger.com/articles/2005/11/02/news/news03.txt
SPECIAL FEATURES
„ IRAQ
• Photos
• Week in Review
„ PRO BASKETBALL
„ HOCKEY
„ NASCAR 2005
„ COLLEGE
FOOTBALL
WORLD NEWS
„ U.N.: More hungry
in Africa than in '90s
„ Complaints of
Mexican police torture
down
NATIONAL NEWS
„ Univ. of Kansas
takes up creation
debate
„ Challenger to seek
Detroit mayor recount
„ Woman arrested in
train death of toddler
„ Holiday travelers
face more complex
travel
„ Skull of Green
River murder victim
found
SPORTS
„ Marlins threaten to
move by 2008
„ McCray keys No.
23 Maryland to
victory
„ Fischer doing 'very
well' after collapsing
ENTERTAINMENT
„ Carey wins favorite
female artist award
„ Koppel bidding
farewell to 'Nightline'
„ Bart dispenses
creepiness on
'Housewives'
MORE WORLD & US
11/22/2005
The Patriot Ledger at SouthofBoston.com
play again. And the more concussions someone suffers, the
more prone they are to future head injuries, making a proper
diagnosis crucial. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission reported 33,154 head injuries among high
school and youth sport football and soccer players last year.
Mike Battaglia, a Hingham football player, is the type of kid
researchers worry about. Whenever he suffers a head blow
he doesn’t let his coach know if it isn’t too bad, he said.
‘‘You just get up and get into the next play,’’ he said.
Driscoll said that tough attitude is probably common but
potentially dangerous.
‘‘We should be advocating for these kids on the field and in
the classroom because many times they don’t want to tell
their coaches when they’re hurt,’’ he said.
Only a couple of Hingham and Weymouth athletes have
needed to take the ImPact retest this year, according to
athletic trainers.
Hingham trainer Al Blaisdell said that before this year he’d
grade an athlete’s injury and then keep a close eye on their
academic performance and how they deal with light activity.
Now he has the ability to pinpoint the steps to recovery.
The program can be accessed through school computer labs.
Students simply log on with a user name and password to
open their profiles.
ImPact allows doctors to send data to Pittsburgh, where
neurologists will interpret scores and offer consultation if there
is uncertainty about someone’s condition.
‘‘It’s very valuable because now you get to see with head
injuries the impact of that injury and we have information for
the doctor,’’ Blaisdell said.
Weymouth athletic trainer Stephen DeFranc said running
each student through the initial questioning can be timeconsuming but ‘‘well worth it.’’
Page 2 of 3
NEWS:
„ POLITICS
„ BUSINESS
„ HEALTH
„ TECHNOLOGY
AP INTERACTIVE
„ Thanksgiving
Recipes
„ Asian Earthquake
„ The Hurricanes
• Hurricane
Tracker
• Rebuilding New
Orleans
„ The Supreme Court
„ CIA Leak
Investigation
„ The Life of Rosa
Parks
„ Tracking Avian Flu
„ Fighting the Flu
„ Companies
Defaulting on 9/11
Loans
„ Top Magazine
Covers
„ Ipod Video Player
„ Oil Crunch
„ Katrina's
Aftermath
„ U.S. Base Closings
Map
„ Pope Benedict XVI
„ Freedom of
Information Act
„ Iraq War
Casualties Database
‘‘It saves the kids from going back too soon or being out too
long. I think it’s extremely accurate and the best tool to use to
determine signs and symptoms of a concussion,’’ he said.
Driscoll is president of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s
Norfolk south district and a member of the society’s
adolescent health and sports medicine committee. He is also
a member of U.S. Lacrosse and has given talks to national
audiences about the benefits of ImPact.
‘‘It has proven to be more clinically reliable than anything
before,’’ Driscoll said.
‘‘Now we’re giving pediatricians or primary care physicians
some real hard guidelines on what to do when a student
suffers a concussion,’’ he said.
ImPact says that Whitman-Hanson Regional High School and
Thayer Academy also use its services. Driscoll said South
Shore has tested athletes from Scituate and East Bridgewater
but would like more schools to get involved.
Hingham Sports Partnership and Weymouth boosters funded
proctoring of the tests for its athletes, which cost each school
about $600. Installation of the ImPact software and
consultations with the University of Pittsburgh were paid for
through a grant from South Shore Hospital.
11,393 - head injuries from football in a sports or
recreation area
„
http://www.patriotledger.com/articles/2005/11/02/news/news03.txt
11/22/2005
The Patriot Ledger at SouthofBoston.com
Page 3 of 3
9,038 - head injuries from football in a school
10,563- head injuries from soccer in a sports or
recreation area
„ 2,159 head injuries from soccer in a school
„ 33,153 total head injuries from soccer or football
„
„
Joe McGee may be reached at [email protected]
Copyright 2005 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Wednesday, November 02, 2005
CONTACT US
The Patriot Ledger, 400 Crown Colony Drive
P.O. Box 699159, Quincy, MA 02269-9159
Telephone: (617) 786-7000
http://www.patriotledger.com/articles/2005/11/02/news/news03.txt
11/22/2005