Clinicians from Emerson Hospital’s Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center and its Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies are partnering with Maynard High School to perform baseline concussion testing on its 500 high school students. Baseline concussion testing consists of cognitive, balance and visual tests to determine a person’s regular functionality. The tests have proven to be critical to aid recovery when a person suffers a concussion.
The testing program at Maynard High School represents the largest group of secondary school students to receive baseline concussion testing in Massachusetts. Since many people suffer concussions during regular activities - not just sports - all students will have the opportunity to be tested later this month, with parent approval. Concussions often come as the result of common falls, skateboarding, acrobatics, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and many other activities that are popular among high school students.
Maynard High School was selected by Emerson, based on a generous grant from the Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital, for its students to receive baseline concussion testing. The school is a pioneer in taking care of the health of its student population and it has a diverse student body comprised of many teens who are athletes and those who do not play sports. In the future, Emerson plans to conduct the baseline testing program at other high schools in the Metrowest area.
“High schoolers represent one of the largest groups of people to suffer a concussion,” explains Dr. Robert J. Gerardi, Superintendent of Maynard Public Schools. “Emerson is widely known as a leader in concussion diagnoses and treatment. We are very pleased to have its clinicians on-site to conduct baseline testing on our students. The test results are essential to aid rapid and complete recovery when students suffer a concussion.”
More than 136,000 high school students in the U.S. have a concussion each academic year. Due to awareness and other factors, the rates of people who are diagnosed with a concussion are increasing. “Baseline concussion testing is becoming ‘the new scoliosis test’ for high school students,” said Pat Trahman RN, BSN, NCSN, Maynard High School Nurse. “As concussions are on the rise, we are excited to have some of the area’s top concussion experts from Emerson provide this service to our students. The effects of concussions interfere significantly with a student’s ability to learn and actively participate in school. Anything we can do to mitigate the effects now and throughout our students’ lives is important to their overall health and success.”
Terrie Enis, Director of Rehabilitation at Emerson Hospital, explains, “We look forward to conducting baseline concussion tests on students at Maynard High School. Baseline testing is one of the best ways to enhance the outcomes for anyone who might suffer a concussion because it provides critical insight into what the patient’s capabilities were before they were injured. Clinicians can use the test results to develop comprehensive treatment plans that can bring the patient back to their baseline when a concussion does occur.”
Baseline concussion testing will be available to all Maynard High School students on May 31, June 1 and June 2. The tests will be provided at no cost. Parents and guardians will receive additional information from the school, along with consent forms.
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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhosp.org.