Concussion Baseline Testing

By: Charlene Cristobal
July 25, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Head on hits are leading to concussive results for athletes. Statistics from show around 300,000 athletes suffer from concussions each year.

It's an eye-popping number for mother Brittany Aucutt. You just never know what's gonna happen," she said. "I have a lot of friends who's kids have had concussions and I just thought that this was a good idea to get a baseline."

That baseline she's referring to is a concussion test. Pop Warner and the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic teamed up to offer them for athletes of all ages to take, before the start of fall sports.

"We need to remember that a concussion is a brain injury," said Sheree Porter of the Tallahassee Memorial Neuro Science center. "There are different levels of brain injury, and a concussion is the mildest form."

The test included segments to help job the athlete's memory, including remembering shapes, numbers and phrases.

"The baseline test gives you a starting point of a child's brain pre-trauma," said Vice President of Pop Warner, Michael Wallace. "Then, in the event that a child does suffer from a concussion, you have the ability to go back and see where that child's brain was prior to injury, and that gives you a baseline that you want to get those same neurological results to the child prior to returning to play."

As for Aucutt's son, he says it's a test he's willing to take if it'll get him on the playing field.

"I think it's important," said Brit Aucutt. "For kids of all ages, actually."

Currently, the test is required for Leon County High School football and cheerleading, and middle school football.

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