The NHL's Concussion Evaluation System, ImPACT >

Just after posting this morning's article on concussions, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that, "Claude is continuing to feel better. He will not travel with the team today and will be seen by our doctor again tomorrow."

This is very good news. It means two things;

  1. Giroux isn't showing signs of a concussion, and...
  2. The Flyers are taking every conservative measure to make sure it is not a concussion.

We anticipated Claude not dressing for Tuesday night's tilt versus the Caps. Instead it looks to be 18-year old Sean Couturier taking the helm at center between Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr. As Ryan Bright points out, this will be an incredible test to the goal-scoring depth this team has possessed over the season. 

After this news broke, it was followed by a league-wide update on Sidney Crosby's status. 

He sat out against the Flyers last Thursday for maintenance reasons, but today we learned different. He's said he has felt concussion-like symptoms ever since his outing against the Boston Bruins. So he's out indefinitely with no time frame on his return -- 

"I did my ImPACT test and it went pretty good,” Crosby said. “That was a good sign. It's much different than previously going through that stuff. That was encouraging.”

ImPACT test? What exactly is that?

For those who aren't aware, "ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system."

It's the most updated, state-of-the-art way to measure and document an athlete's concussion through a 20-minute long test taken on a computer. ImPACT is used for all levels of contact sports and their participants. Especially in the National Hockey League. 

What's unique about ImPACT is that it's a test taken by the players prior to the season beginning and before any player has experienced a traumatic brain injury. This way (God forbid) if/when a player suffers head trauma, he's immediately administered the test a second time and his results are compared against his prior test assessment for an accurate concussion diagnosis. This is repeated for however long medical personnel want to keep record of the player's progress/retrogression. 

The test is split up into six sections which measure thousands of cognitive happenings. Memory, response time, problem solving, match making, etc etc. Basically everything we do every second of every day we're alive. 

Once the test is complete, the results are computed and the test-taker's given his/her Total Symptom Composite score which reflect all twenty-two symptom descriptors -- 

A lower score indicates fewer endorsed symptoms by the athlete.

I imagine this is the exact protocol the Flyers organization is following with this Giroux matter. Though the issue is still in its fetal stage, news of Claude's progression this early after the incident is definitely relieving. 

And while I'm on the subject, I'd like to make it perfectly clear that I am more interested in Claude Giroux's long-term health and his life's well-being. This is much more than just sports and entertainment. It's affecting the lives of players from all over the NHL, and outside sports leagues. 

It was fantastic reading about ImPACT and knowing science has such a clear cut way to diagnosing these concussions. And not only that, but tracking and cataloging a person's betterment. With this system in place and the company of great medical resources, I've got a much finer attitude about the whole case. 

Good luck, 'Roo!

imPACT Logo.jpg 

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