My son is playing football for his Louisville high school in the fall, and the coaches want him to go to a doctor before the first practice and have “baseline testing” done. What exactly is that?

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Baseline tests are generally performed on athletes age 10 and older. The tests are used to check for signs of concussion and to determine the state of each athlete’s balance and brain function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this includes the following:

  • learning and memory skills;
  • ability to pay attention or concentrate; and
  • problem-solving speed.

If an athlete suffers a head injury and concussion is suspected, a subsequent exam can be compared to the baseline tests to confirm or rule out a concussion.

Frequency of Baseline Testing

Most components of baseline tests should be repeated each year, although the recommended frequency for computerized or written neuropsychological tests is every two years. Whenever an athlete has had a concussion or has a medical condition that may affect the test results, the athlete should undergo more frequent neuropsychological testing.

Bravo to your son’s high school! If the coaches are concerned enough about head injury to require players to get baseline testing, I suspect they will be strict about enforcing safety rules, such as no helmet-to-helmet contact.

When brain injuries occur, lives are changed. Contact the Louisville medical malpractice lawyers at Gray and White Law if someone you love has sustained a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.