Girl playing softball

A discussion about concussions

Thursday, May 24, 2018 |

Young athletes are bound to get bumps and bruises when playing sports. But when a child sustains a concussion, it changes the game. A hit on the head that is accompanied by confusion, forgetfulness, glassy eyes, disorientation, clumsiness, slowed speech, and changes in mood needs quick attention. A concussion diagnosis can be frightening, but Bayhealth has a team that offers support.

Understanding a concussion's impact

Once your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, testing is available through Bayhealth to determine the effect a concussion has had on them. Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, known as ImPACT, is a computerized test used to measure verbal and visual memory, attention span, reaction time, and brain processing speed.

“When the test is used in conjunction with a thorough clinical assessment, it can help with determining what areas of the brain may need additional treatment,” said Physical Therapist Angela R. Mollohan, PT, MPT. Bayhealth conducts ImPACT testing every two years at local schools so a set of baseline test results are on hand for clinicians to compare a post-concussion test to.

Bayhealth has provided this service free to the community since 2011. Testing is offered at Bayhealth Outpatient Rehabilitation, Kent Campus and with the athletic trainers at the following high schools: Polytech, Dover, Lake Forest, Milford, Smyrna, Woodbridge, and MOT Charter School.

Treating a concussion

Quite often, a person who has suffered a concussion looks and feels fine. It isn’t until they go back to their daily activities that they may experience difficulty completing the tasks they once did with ease. Through cognitive therapy, patients can retrain their brain to do these activities and learn strategies to compensate for persistent deficits. “The goal is to help the patient return to the functional abilities they had before the concussion. This could be class, work, sports, or everyday life,” said Bayhealth Advanced Speech Pathologist Ashley Jones, MS, CCC-SLP.

To receive cognitive therapy, a pediatrician, primary care physician, neurosurgeon, or neurologist must refer you. This form of treatment is available at Bayhealth Outpatient Rehabilitation, Kent Campus and Bayhealth Milford Memorial

Visit Bayhealth's Outpatient Therapy page for more information on the services provided at Bayhealth. If you’re in need of a physician, call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (229-3627) or visit Bayhealth's Find a Doctor page.