Athletic Trainers and Their Role in the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program

Athletic Trainers and Their Role in the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program

At the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, our patients are referred to us from a number of sources in our region and beyond. These referrals include pediatricians, primary care physicians, sports medicine clinicians, athletic trainers, and other medical professionals.

Athletic Training and Development

Our network of UPMC Sports Medicine athletic trainers extends throughout the western Pennsylvania region. UPMC Sports Medicine employs more than 100 athletic trainers nationally certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

We partner with over 60 area high schools, universities, and professional athletic organizations to provide athletic training and medical services. Because many of our athletic trainers are on the sidelines of sporting events throughout the region, they are often the first responders to all sorts of athletic injuries. Each year, UPMC Sports Medicine certified athletic trainers evaluate more than 13,756 injuries, including concussions.

First Response to Concussion

Our athletic trainers play an important role in the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion program.

They are trained to identify cases of suspected concussion and to refer these athletes for evaluation and treatment. Once cases are confirmed and athletes receive personalized rehabilitation programs, athletic trainers can help monitor and track progress. Once rehabilitation has progressed, athletic trainers may work with athletes on completing a standard 5-stage return to play exertion protocol and complete a final exertion-based test.

Baseline Concussion ImPACT® Testing

Each year, UPMC athletic trainers work with sports teams and athletic departments to administer more than 8,000 baseline ImPACT tests.

The ImPACT test provides an opportunity to gather baseline data about an athlete’s cognitive ability prior to an injury. When baseline data is available, the ImPACT test is a comparative tool for clinicians to gauge the severity of an injury and to monitor recovery.

To learn more about athletic training services at UPMC, visit www.UPMCSportsMedicine.com or call 1-855-93-SPORTS(77678).