Concussion Management

A concussion is a brain injury that alters the way our brain functions leading to a variety of symptoms including headaches, and problems with memory, concentration, balance and coordination. Recently, further research has shown that there are different kinds of concussions, which can occur separately or together: cortical (brain) and Labyrinthine (inner ear/vestibular). These concussion types require expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of each. Our Lady of Lourdes has developed Louisiana’s premier concussion program featuring certified specialists in cognitive testing for the brain, and soon, specialists for the inner ear certified in postural sway testing.

Starting before concussion with baseline testing, through to physician evaluation, post testing, therapies, and gradual return to play protocol, no one in the state has as complete of a program as Lourdes. Currently, we partner directly with both Lafayette and St. Martin Parish School Systems, as well as Teurlings Catholic and Lafayette Christian Academy. We are also working to extend our efforts to middle schools across Acadiana.


Treatment
Our Lady of Lourdes features the only staff with certified therapists and athletic trainers in vestibular and concussion therapies. We have developed a concussion treatment protocol in which our emergency room, advanced imaging center and neurologists work in tandem to deliver the highest quality diagnosis and treatment. We also partner with concussion specialist, Doctor Stephanie Aldret to provide additional specialized treatment.

Education
Lourdes partners with local schools to educate trainers, coaches and parents on concussions. Coaches and sports trainers can attend Lourdes-sponsored training events on concussion identification and treatment protocol. There, the trainers receive advanced certification status to better react to injuries during actual sporting events. Educational sessions are also held for parents to help them further understand the causes, symptoms and treatment of concussive injuries to their children.

Baseline Testing
During athletic physicals Lourdes provides impact concussion baseline testing to establish a reference point for interpretation should an athlete suffer a this type of injury. The test measures normal feelings, verbal and visual memory, processing speed of the brain, and reaction time. Performed before each athlete’s upcoming season, the test acts as an important tool in helping determine when concussed athletes can safely return to their sport.