Access Sports Implements New Pediatric Post-Concussion Testing

Kevin Heaton, DO is Now Certified to Conduct iPad Testing on Children Ages 5 – 12

January 3, 2017, (EXETER, NH) – Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics is proud to announce that Kevin D. Heaton, DO, Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician and Director of the Concussion Management Program, is now trained and certified in pediatric Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) for children between the ages of five and 12.

After sustaining a traumatic brain injury, patients are put through an ImPACT test that is completed on a desktop computer. The test uses objective information of memory, motor speed and reaction time to ensure the patient’s cognitive time is back to normal before they return to their sport. This testing process has become the standard of care to treat, manage and clear concussions in teenage and adult patients.

This testing process has been successful for older patients, but children under the age of 12 have found great difficulty understanding directions due to its advanced nature. Younger patients are commonly harder to treat after a concussion because of the struggle they have describing their symptoms and the complexities of actually testing their cognitive functions.

In fact, the younger the patients are, the more unreliable the standard desktop test proves to be. This can lead to children returning to school or athletics too early, which can then cause further problems and put them at risk for repeated concussion.

This risk led ImPACT to develop a more dependable testing process for the five to 12 age group. The new pediatric test takes into account the barriers young children may have when understanding their symptoms and can be completed on an iPad – which most children in this age range are already comfortable using.

“Children start playing more aggressive contact sports around the age of 10,” Heaton said. “Concussion rates then go up, making this test an absolute necessity for treating young patients effectively.”

Heaton is now only one of two providers in New Hampshire certified to interpret this pediatric testing and the only capable physician in the Seacoast region. He will be able to perform post-concussion assessments for children five and over, teenagers and adults.

About Access Sports
Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics is the Seacoast of New Hampshire’s leader in the innovative treatment, management and prevention of orthopaedic care and service. Whether you’re a top-ranked athlete with a knee injury, an employee with carpal tunnel syndrome or have suffered from back pain for ten years, our team of expert physicians and physical therapists are ready to help you get back in the game.