As high school football season winds down, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System continues working closely with local athletic programs, including Port Arthur Memorial High School, utilizing new certifications and improved sideline technology to keep players safe on the field. CHRISTUS is the first and only healthcare system in Southeast Texas to take a high-tech approach to monitoring players for head injuries.
The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Sports Medicine Program has heavily invested in the neuropsychological ImPACT technology. Through the associated App (for iPhone users) provided to the local trainers, called the ImPACT Sideline Tool, they are able to quickly assess and evaluate athletes for concussion type symptoms. This allows trainers to function exactly like the National Football League (NFL) in imposing a mandatory player ‘time out” following hits that produce concussion like behavior. The test, which consists of two parts, takes about five to eight minutes to administer, and the results can be emailed to CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Sports Medicine Concussion Specialist, Kimberly Pitts, DO for further player evaluation during a follow up appointment. Additionally, Dr. Pitts can immediately communicate via phone or text with the trainers to help direct further care for the athlete; all during the game.
This investment in technology further highlights CHRISTUS’ commitment to protecting players with the most advanced technology, as a supporting tool for our specially trained physicians to better detect and treat possible concussions. In all, CHRISTUS has partnered with and provided more than 50 sensors to 11 high schools in the 9-county region it serves.
“Our primary goal is keeping players safe throughout the season, and with the assistance of new technology such as the ImPACT sideline app, we’re able to more accurately and swiftly identify and treat players when a significant impact is sustained,” said LeKisha Dorsey, head athletic trainer at Port Arthur Memorial High School.
Concussion is a complex injury that should be managed using multiple tools including sideline screening, balance and vestibular testing and neurocognitive assessment. All concussions are different and need to be managed individually. To make sure players are treated with the highest quality care on site, CHRISTUS
Southeast Texas family medicine doctor and concussion specialist Kimberly Pitts, DO has further championed the safety first commitment by working to obtain an advanced certification to lead the cause.
Recently named a Certified ImPACT Concussion Consultant, Dr. Pitts exemplifies CHRISTUS’ mission to prioritize safety in high school sports, particularly football.
“Impact to the head can cause serious injury, and without proper professional guidance and the use of cognitive tools like ImPACT, the severity of a concussion may go undiagnosed, which can cause more damage,” said Kimberly Pitts, DO, a family medicine physician and certified ImPACT concussion specialist. “This advanced certification, along with the ImPACT sideline tools, gives our team very specific information to help respond and treat players immediately, which helps prevent more serious injury,”
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System continuously seeks out industry advancements to lead the way to better health, better healthcare and lower costs for all. As the system’s transformation continues to unfold, it will continue to look to the future to advance technology within the system to treat patients with high quality, lower cost care to help the Southeast Texas community stay safe and live well.