Rockford Public Schools is introducing new technology to help monitor head injuries that student athletes may suffer.
The district will now be using the Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test, also known as ImPACT. The computerized test has students take a test during the first two weeks of practice to create a baseline. If a trainer suspects that a student suffered a head injury, they'll have the student take the test again. Data from both tests will determine whether or not its safe for the student to return to play.
"This is a third layer of monitoring concussions with our student athletes and ensuring that we're providing the safest environment that we possibly can," RPS 205 Director of Athletics Mat Parker said.
The new technology was made possible with the help of a grant given by The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Athletic trainers from OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center will perform the tests on the athletes. The district is also asking athletes from freshman football and freshman girls soccer to take part in a study conducted by OSF Saint Anthony College of Nursing to determine if student baselines change as students continue to participate in contact sports while in high school.
"I think that this will be a really good opportunity for the Rockford Public School," OSF Saint Anthony College of Nursing DNP Coordinator Brandie Messer said. "It will prove that it's just one more line of protection for their students."
All athletes who are in contact sports will use the test this year.