Concussion Information

Concussion Management Protocol is based on the best practices recommendations published in the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport from the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, Nov 2008.  Starting July 1, 2011, in compliance with the new Virginia law, Senate Bill 652 Concussions in Student-Athletes and amended code 22.1-271.5, all student athletes will be required to complete a brief overview and baseline test. The concussion education will be conducted annually.

According to Arlington Public Schools policy implementation procedures for Students and Concussion (25-3.5), neurocognitive testing is provided as one measure of concussion management for secondary student athletes. APS will baseline test student-athletes engaged in contact/limited-contact sports as well as students with a known concussion history.

The ImPACT Test that is the most widely used computerized neurocognitive test to help evaluate and manage concussions. APS uses ImPACT to establish a baseline score and as a post-injury assessment.

  1. Baseline Test – Administered by a physician, nurse, athletic trainer, athletic director, or coach before the start of a sport season, employment period, school year, or other activity. Baseline scores are collected and stored on our HIPAA compliant server. ImPACT recommends re-administering the baseline test every two years.
  2. Post-Injury Test – Administered after a concussion is suspected. A licensed healthcare provider compares test results to baseline scores and/or normative data scores.

ImPACT is not a diagnostic tool and only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose and treat a concussion. Instead, ImPACT can be used before and after a licensed healthcare provider has determined that a concussion has occurred:

  • In addition to establishing neurocognitive performance baselines, healthcare providers use ImPACT test scores as an important component of their assessment of an injury.
  • Post-injury test scores may be used by a licensed provider to inform an effective concussion treatment course of action.
  • ImPACT may be administered multiple times after a clinician has diagnosed a concussion—scores can be used to help measure rehabilitation and to consider whether to return an injured individual back to activity.

ImPACT is a 25-minute online test on a desktop computer delivered on a secure web portal. In APS, the test is administered in the presence of an athletic trainer, athletic director, or trained coach. Only a licensed healthcare provider can administer an ImPACT post-injury test.

When ImPACT is delivered in a controlled environment according to recommended specifications, it provides highly reliable neurocognitive data that measures attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, non-verbal problem solving, and reaction time.