Basic RGBBelow are instructions for parents/children and their healthcare clinicians in the event a concussion has occurred or is suspected.

 

Post-injury testing information for parents/children

If you visit your doctor regarding concussion symptoms, take your ENTIRE baseline report/document to the doctor, including all of the following instructions.

Should your child be injured and have to take a post-injury test at a provider’s office, you will need to take a copy of your child’s baseline report with you, including the instruction pages. If you have a copy of this report with you, the provider can administer a post-injury test at no cost for the testing portion of the visit and receive the post-injury report immediately (you will still be responsible for any fees charged by your clinician). The test your child takes post-injury will be very similar to the baseline test. The post-injury test will be compared to your child’s baseline test to assess whether your child has performed as well on his or her post-injury test as he or she did on the baseline test. Typically, athletes are not cleared for play unless their post-injury test results are equal to or better than their baseline test results. Also it is important to understand that sometimes an athlete may score better on the post-injury test than the baseline test even when a concussion has occurred. If you suspect that you or your child has a concussion or other injury, you should see a physician.

Click Here for Sample Post-injury Test

 

What to do next if you suspect your child has experienced a possible concussion or mild traumatic brain injury

It is not always easy to know or recognized if someone has suffered a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury. You do not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion injury.

If you notice any symptoms of a concussion or are in doubt about whether your child may be injured, contact your doctor. Concussion symptoms can range from mild to severe and last for a few hours or in other cases up to several months.

Symptoms can vary, and there are many potential physical symptoms—some more easily recognizable than others—such as the following:

  • Headache or dizziness that will not subside
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Cognitive problems such as an inability to concentrate or remember (some patients complain of being slower or not thinking clearly)
  • Mood problems such as being overly angry, anxious (nervous), sad, or depressed
  • Changes in sleep patterns, (e.g., difficulty falling asleep, sleeping more or less than usual).

If you observe or suspect any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

If you take your child’s entire baseline report with you to the doctor, the doctor will be able to gather information from the header of the report, log into the “Clinician Portal” associated with Concussion Vital Signs, and administer a post-injury test at no cost. Please note that you will still be responsible for any fees the clinician may charge for the visit, but the actual post-injury test session is free as part of the cognitive assessment evaluation. The doctor can compare your child’s post-injury cognitive state to his or her baseline state and note whether the child scores a cognitive deficit on the test compared to the baseline. If the child scores worse on the post-injury test, further work-up or care by your doctor may be needed. Also note that a post-injury score that is better than the baseline score does not mean a concussion was not suffered. Your doctor will be able to assess the test results and other clinical information obtained during the workup and decide on appropriate care.

If you visit your doctor regarding concussion symptoms, take your ENTIRE baseline report/document to the doctor, including all of the following instructions.


Post-injury testing information for clinicians

As part of a continuum of care for patients who have been baseline tested with the computerized cognitive testing via MMC Concussion Tests and Concussion Vital Signs, in-office post-injury testing is available at no cost to providers performing concussion management. Clinicians can test these patients via the Concussion Vital Signs website.

Access Clinician Portal

 

Any athlete visiting your office will need to present a copy of his or her baseline report or a copy of one of his or her Concussion Vital Signs reports. With the information contained in the header of the report, providers can review the patient’s most recent tests and perform a post-injury test in his or her office.

Keep in mind that every post-injury report will also display a longitudinal graph of scores from all previous testing so each report displays historical scores of previous testing. Using the “Concussion Reference Code” in the Clinician Portal section of the Concussion Vital Signs website will allow you to access information or initiate testing. The “Concussion Reference Code” is unique to the athlete.

Should you decide to administer a test in your office, the report should be either printed or downloaded immediately post-test.

Concussion Vital Signs is not a substitute for a neurological workup or comprehensive neurocognitive testing. It allows comparison of a post-injury cognition test to a baseline cognition test. Similarly, Concussion Vital Signs testing is not exhaustive, and performance within normal limits should not be taken as lack of evidence for a concussion or other cognitive deficit.

As such, Concussion Vital Signs testing alone is not evidence for returning to play. Clinicians should perform a comprehensive exam as needed. It is important to understand and to be aware that a patient who does not do his or her best on the baseline test may score higher on a post-injury test, and this can cause spurious results in cases where the patient has actually suffered a brain injury.

Typical CPT codes for neurocognitive testing are 96118 and/or 96120.

Clinicians can perform post-injury testing on their patients via Concussion Vital Signs (select the “Clinician Portal” option.

Access Clinician Portal

 

If you require more granularity in neurocognitive testing or see complex cases, you may want to consider the CNS Vital Signs platform.