ImPACT Applications Launches Pediatric Medical Device for Concussion Management

ImPACT Applications has announced ImPACT Pediatric, its “newest innovation in the field of concussion management. The first and only FDA-approved concussion-specific tool designed for individuals ages 5-11, ImPACT Pediatric provides health care professionals with objective measures of neurocognitive functioning for evaluation and management of concussion in younger children.

“ImPACT Pediatric is an iPad-based computerized test that is individually administered, engaging for children, and easy to use in a clinical setting. It addresses a gap that has existed in the medical device community for years—a lack of normed and validated computerized neurocognitive assessment tools for efficiently and effectively measuring neurocognitive function in this age group. Created by ImPACT Applications, the developer of the FDA-approved ImPACT® computerized neurocognitive concussion assessment and management tool, ImPACT Pediatric offers pediatric patients the same advantages seen by more than 10 million ImPACT test takers.

Michael Wahlster, chief executive officer of ImPACT Applications noted that “ImPACT Pediatric is a huge step forward for the industry and specifically for pediatric patients who are at-risk of concussion-related injuries. Unlike older age groups who are often baseline tested before injury, concussion management for young children is mostly reactive. ImPACT Pediatric allows for proactive baseline testing for well-child patients and insight into cognitive changes if an injury occurs. It produces easy to use, secure, and manageable test results with age-referenced normative comparisons.”

Posted in General, High School, Other Sports, Outside U.S. | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Canadian Soccer Organizations Team Up With Health Care Provider on Concussion Awareness and Soccer Safety

The Ontario Soccer Association, Toronto Soccer Association and Toronto Football Club have each teamed up with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Concussion Centre in collaborations focused on increasing the safety of youth soccer players.

“These collaborations are a commitment to ensuring a safer game for kids to play,” says Dr. Nick Reed, co-director and clinician scientist in Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. “Youth athletes, both at professional and amateur levels, need to be informed about concussion prevention, identification, and recovery strategies. We’re thrilled to work together on this important initiative with three leading soccer organizations for kids at all levels of sport.” Video link

It is estimated that one in five sport-related injuries are concussions. About 200,000 concussions are reported each year in Canada but the true number is likely much higher, as concussions are largely underreported.

In a one-year collaboration, Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre will work with the Toronto Football Club (TFC)’s academy soccer players, to provide a comprehensive baseline testing and follow-up care program that includes the assessment of neurocognitive function, as well as balance, strength and agility. Concussion education and training is another critical part.

Three-year collaborations with the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) and Toronto Soccer Association (TSA) are also underway, focusing on concussion education, strategies, and awareness campaigns to align players, parents, coaches and trainers on the most up-to-date evidence and resources for concussion prevention, identification and management.

The OSA is the governing body for 21 soccer districts, 13 Associate Members and 26 Non-Club Academies across the province. With over 475,000 annual participants, the OSA is one of largest sporting organizations in Canada.

Posted in Football, General, High School, Other Sports, Outside U.S. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Concussion Rates Rising Significantly in Adolescents

The number of Americans diagnosed with concussions is growing, most significantly in adolescents, according to researchers at UC San Francisco. They recommend that adolescents be prioritized for ongoing work in concussion education, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The findings appear online August 16, 2016, in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Our study evaluated a large cross-section of the U.S. population,” said lead author Alan Zhang, MD, UCSF Health orthopaedic surgeon. “We were surprised to see that the increase in concussion cases over the past few years mainly were from adolescent patients aged 10 to 19.”

In this study, Zhang and his colleagues evaluated the health records of 8,828,248 members of Humana Inc., a large private payer insurance group. Patients under age 65 who were diagnosed with a concussion between 2007-2014 were categorized by year of diagnosis, age group, sex, concussion classification, and health care setting of diagnosis (emergency department or physician’s office).

Overall, 43,884 patients were diagnosed with a concussion, with 55 percent being male. The highest incidence was in the 15-19 age group at 16.5 concussions per 1,000 patients, followed by ages 10-14 at 10.5, 20-24 at 5.2 and 5-9 at 3.5.

The study found that 56 percent of concussions were diagnosed in the emergency department, 29 percent in a physician’s office, and the remainder in urgent care or inpatient settings. As such, outpatient clinicians should have the same confidence and competence to manage concussion cases as emergency physicians, Zhang said.

A 60 percent increase in concussions occurred from 2007 to 2014 (3,529 to 8,217), with the largest growth in ages 10-14 at 143 percent and 15-19 at 87 percent. Based on classification, 29 percent of concussions were associated with some loss of consciousness.

A possible explanation for the significant number of adolescent concussions is increased participation in sports, said Zhang, MD, who is also assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at UCSF. It also may be reflective of an improved awareness for the injury by patients, parents, coaches, sports medical staff and treating physicians.

Posted in Football, General, High School | Tagged , , | Leave a comment