Concussions are common in impact sports -- and they are particularly serious when athletes return to play before they have fully recovered from the blow.
But some local health-care providers are excited to have ImPACT, or Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, to help prevent further injury after a concussion.
"The test is nothing but a tool, but it is an important tool," said Tres Ferrin, outreach coordinator at McKay-Dee Sports Medicine in Ogden. "We don't want to send (players) back too soon to get a worse injury or a fatal injury. We are pushing this hard because we think it will make a difference in people's lives.
"Of all the things we do with athletes to prevent knee, shoulder and soft-tissue injuries, this test, by a long ways, will have the most profound impact on athletes in the area."
McKay-Dee Sports Medicine gives an ImPACT pretest to every athlete who works with one of the clinic's athletic trainers. Personnel have tested 500 students from Ben Lomond, Ogden, Bonneville and Weber high schools, as well as Layton Christian Academy, the Ogden Mustangs semi-professional hockey team and the Golden Spike Amateur Hockey Association.
Likewise, Intermountain Sports Medicine Specialists in Bountiful has tested athletes from Bountiful, Woods Cross, Viewmont and West high schools.
Ferrin said several recreation football and hockey leagues are considering requiring the test of each of their players to help meet the state mandate that every amateur sports organization has a policy for concussion management.