Here is something that could be a life-saver, or at least a brain-saver, for athletes: A test for concussions that can be performed on the sidelines and takes just a minute.
A study on the effectivness of the simple test, was done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. According to a story by Science Daily, the test just entails an athlete reading single-digit numbers from cards. A baseline time is established for the athlete to complete the task.
If an injured athlete takes longer to do the test than that baseline, particularly if it takes more than five seconds more than the baseline time, he or she is likely to have sustained a concussion.
This King-Devick test works by gauging “impairments of eye movement, attention, language and other symptoms of impaired brain function,” according to Science Daily. Vision is an important indicator of brain function. In fact, the study was funded by the National Eye Institute.
The researchers said that the King-Devick test, unlike more sophisticated tests, isn’t affected by whether a person is depressed or by their intelligence level.
This test should have been used just over a week ago during an NBA game, when Indiana Pacer Tyler Hansbrough was elbowed in the head by Kurt Thomas of the Chicago Bulls. Hansbrough was on the floor was several minutes until he was walked out with the help of several men.
As he left the basketball court, Hansbrough got wobbly and had to be seated so he wouldn’t fall down. It was pretty obvious that he likely suffered a concussion.
But guess what? He was still allowed to back and play in the game. That was the height of stupidity on the part of NBA officials.