August 14, 2012 (MMD Newswire) -- Presbyterian Healthcare is a not-for-profit healthcare leader, providing advanced medical treatments and procedures for the residents of the southern Piedmont region of North Carolina. As an official partner of Union County Public Schools, Presbyterian Sports Medicine ensures that student-athletes receive the best possible care in both prevention and post-injury treatment.
On June 2, Presbyterian Sports Medicine hosted its fourth consecutive Competitive Edge Sports Screening Day, a free sports screening available to all student-athletes in the county's public high schools. Over 200 clinicians and non-clinicians volunteer their time to make the event a success.
"We screened over 1,200 student-athletes across 10 area public high schools," said Spencer Elliott, MA, LAT, ATC, manager of athletic training. "We also screened student-athletes from five other area high schools that day."
Eric Warren, MD, medical director of the program, is another proactive supporter of the event. "We provide complete evaluations for all student-athletes coming to the Competitive Edge Sports Screening day," said Warren. The screening includes an overview of general health and family history, blood pressure and heart rate checks, lung and abdomen checks, strength and flexibility tests, vision testing and height and weight measurements. "One of the new things we added this year was baseline concussion testing," said Dr. Warren.
"We used equipment from Biodex Medical Systems to help us provide this testing." One of the previous challenges in managing concussions was that providers had no objective way to measure athletes' conditions. People could report their symptoms, which they sometimes minimized or didn't mention because they didn't realize they were related to a concussion. "At Presbyterian, we use neurocognitive testing through ImPACT™ to objectively where someone is in terms of healing and when they're ready to return to play," said Dr. Warren. "Vestibular balance (neurophysical) testing is another great way to objectively look at how an athlete is doing.
"Using our Biodex systems, we offer baseline balance testing at our screening day. We can test students again after they've had a head injury; we can then compare the two assessments and determine whether the athlete is doing better, if they're worse or if they need more treatment."
"We chose to use the Biodex BioSway as our primary vestibular assessment tool based on its simplicity for our clinical staff," said Elliott. "At our main screening day in June, we had six stations set up with BioSway systems to conduct the baseline testing."
The information gathered at the event was shared with student-athletes' families as well as their providers and sports medicine physicians. Throughout the school year, Presbyterian's certified athletic trainers will have tools and baseline assessments to ensure that they are properly treating their student-athletes following injuries.
Clinicians performing the balance test at the screening day had never used the Biodex equipment before, but with minimal training on the morning of the event, these clinicians quickly became pros, each performing 25-30 baselines tests every hour. The Biodex testing, paired with the ImPACT™ cognitive testing, is a powerful tool to determine when an athlete is ready to return to play following a concussion.
"From a professional standpoint, I'm very familiar with Biodex and their products," said Elliott. "Their service and equipment have been great in assisting us in providing proper patient care as well as an outstanding patient experience. We chose to use the Biodex BioSway based on the previous experience in using Biodex equipment and services by many of our clinicians. They were very comfortable in the utilization and ease of use of the system and applying it to our patients.
"Biodex has been a wonderful partner for our Competitive Edge Sports Screening Day in the Charlotte area. Their service is excellent! They offered both their expertise in coordination leading up to the event as well as on-site assistance to our clinicians during the event."
Presbyterian has worked with Biodex to acquire a BioSway system so that it will have a transportable balance system available throughout all of the schools it serves. The healthcare system plans to expand this program in the future.
Vestibular Balance assessment gets thumbs up from High School Football Coach
Scott Stein is the athletic director and head football coach at Sun Valley High School, one of the public high schools included in the sports screening event. "The baseline testing that we've done in the last couple of years has been excellent for us as athletic directors and coaches in understanding our kids. The new information that we're getting - from concussion screening to the equipment that they're wearing - allows us to get more involved in protecting the lives of the student-athletes that are playing sports for us," said Stein.
"The new balance testing for concussion is a big part of understanding when a student-athlete can come back to play safely. It's come all the way down from professional sports and is now at the high school level. In Union County, balance testing is going to be a big part of keeping our kids safe and healthy."
To learn more about the Biodex Concussion Management Program, contact Biodex directly at 1 800-224-6339 (Int'l 631-924-9000), visit our website, www.biodex.com/concussion, or email us at email@example.com.About Biodex
Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. manufactures and distributes medical devices and related replacement parts for physical medicine, nuclear medicine, and medical imaging applications. It also provides programs for concussion management as well as fall risk screening and conditioning. We have been committed to serving the physical medicine & rehabilitation community for more than 25 years.