D1 Sports teams with Beaumont for concussion screening, awareness event

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 10, 2015

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Every parent knows what it’s like to sit on the sidelines, cheering their child on during a big game, but deep down worrying that all-star performance could lead to a serious injury.

Concussions caused by sports injuries have been a hot topic among parents, doctors and athletic administrators in recent years. In an attempt to curb long-term damage in student-athletes, researchers have been working to improve testing and to spread awareness of serious head injuries.

One important step in identifying concussions is taking part in baseline screenings before an injury occurs, so experts can know whether a student’s cognitive functioning has been altered. Local students will get the chance to learn more about baseline screenings June 13 at D1 Sports Training in Bloomfield Hills.

D1 Detroit Facility Coordinator Zach Goetz said the free event is one of the ways the training center hopes to instill proper athletic standards in its clients and other students in the community.

“Beaumont (Health System) is a title sponsor here. We have a lot of doctors we’re involved with here and orthopedic surgeons,” said Goetz. “We wanted to use that connection to help students get ahead of the curve.”

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics says most concussions at the high school and college levels take place during practice. In fact, nearly 58 percent of high school football concussions occur during practice.

The online test that student-athletes will take June 13 can show their pre-concussion cognitive function, also known as a baseline. Later, if the athlete is suspected of experiencing a concussion, the baseline results can be compared with a post-concussion assessment. Comparison data enables health care providers to determine when it is safe for students to return to school or play following a concussion.

The evaluations will be administered by neuroscience experts from Beaumont’s Concussion Health Awareness and Management Program. Participants will also be able to take advantage of training sessions and agility drills led by D1 athletic trainers.

“Knowing the warning signs of a concussion and when to seek medical attention is critical,” Dr. Daniel Menkes, chairman of neurology at Beaumont Health System, said in a prepared statement. “A concussion is the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of brain function after a mild head injury. Traditionally, a concussion was defined as a loss of consciousness following a head injury, with normal X-rays and head CT scans. More data suggests that concussions may or may not involve loss of consciousness. It may be caused by a direct blow to the head or by a direct injury to another area of the body with secondary forces transmitted to the head, such as a ‘whiplash’ type of injury.”

The screenings that students will be able to get this weekend are the same ones used by the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and college and high school programs across the country.

There is no fee to participate, but guests are asked to register for a 90-minute appointment by calling (800) 633-7377 or visiting Beaumont.edu/champ-event. Sessions will be available at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Those under the age of 18 must have parental consent.

D1 Sports Training is located at 799 Denison Court in Bloomfield Hills.