DAPHNE, ALA. (WPMI) - High school football season is just weeks away, that means a concussion is a real possibility for some athletes. Now there's one more tool for coaches and trainers on the field.
A group of local doctors and educators at the U.S. Sports Academy in Daphne and the University South Alabama are making it available for free. Right now high school football is the focus but the ultimate goal is to keep all athletes safe and educated about concussions.
"It’s best to have a baseline test before you get injured to compare those results to, that’s not standard practice everywhere," said Robert Herron a doctoral student at the Sports Academy.
Herron and U.S. Sports Academy professor Brandon Spradley have teamed up with USA's Department of Neurology. " This is kind of a community service for us at the U.S. Sports Academy and we want to make sure that is addressed at the high school level as well as the youth sports level as well," said Dr. Spradley.
Armed with a simple concussion "baseline" test known as the King Devick Test both Herron and Bradley have spent the Summer working with local high school coaches, athletes and athletic trainers introducing them to the test.
"Resources are not the same across all school systems, schools booster clubs are different. We provide it as service outreach program and its free," said Herron.
It's an eye movement test where a subject calls out a series of numbers arranged in different patterns. The test is quick and gives instant results on the sideline using a tablet.
"We really hope to expand it to everybody who has access to it or could get access to it," said Herron.
Doctors at USA will be offering free concussion clinics every Monday beginning the first week in September at the start of football season. The clinics will be offered at the Strada Patient Care Center in Mobile.