It's the start of
the school year, and that means high school football is right around the
It was a light
workout at Sarasota County's Booker
High School. The start of the football season is a couple
of weeks away. But unlike past years,
before these players hit the field they walked into a computer lab.
the impact test. It's a neural exam that makes it easier for doctors to
determine when it's safe for athletes to return to the field after suffering a
"What the test
does, it allows us to know when the brain heals back to their baseline," said
Keven Eichorn, athletic trainer at Booker. "If they have a concussion, we
go back, we test them again, and then with the help of our sports medicine team
– the acting physician at each school – we test again. Until that test is equal to baseline, they
can't return to play protocols."
The impact test
uses patterns, words, letters, shapes and colors to measure memory, reaction
time, speed and concentration. In the
past, the medical staff relied on whatever the athlete told them about his or her
wants to get back on the field, so if they feel pretty good and they can do the
entire test – even though they might be having some concussions and have some
concentration problems – they won't tell us that. Now, they can't lie," said Eichorn.