Tulsa Soccer Players Turn Out For Early Concussion Screening

Wednesday, June 8th 2016, 11:02 pm
By: News On 6

With the help of an app, hundreds of youth soccer players received a very important screening Wednesday night, aimed at detecting concussions.

It’s called benchmark testing, and if a player gets a bad hit during the season, doctors can use the data collected to determine the concussion risk.

Before the soccer season starts, the West Side Alliance Soccer Club met with parents and players to talk about concussion safety and prevention.

One of those prevention methods is done through a test on a newly developed app.

"If any kid is suspected of having a concussion at a game on a Saturday, no matter where they're at, their benchmark information and data is uploaded to a database and we've got medical staff that are going to have access to that, and team leaders will have access to that," explained Roger Bush with West Side Alliance.

The benchmark data gives the doctors an idea of how badly injured a player is.

"We can do this on the sidelines of a game. It's not to replace a doctor or a medical professional, but it's kind of like measuring blood pressure. We can quantify and measure to help and assist medical decision making," said Frank Wolfe with Sway Medical.

11/10/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Medical Company Says Tech Can Help Manage Concussions

“These kids can go on with their summer, and if they're injured in their sport, hey, we've got the tools that can help physicians and not play the guessing game," he said.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Eric Sherburn said it was great to see the turnout, but hopes it continues to grow.

“I would like to see every soccer club, every sporting club that's not affiliated with a school do this," Sherburn said.

Parents like Elissa Andrews said they feel prepared for the upcoming season.

“You think you know a little bit about concussions, but they gave us a lot of valuable information tonight when we were here about what to look for, and all the coaches have the information, so I feel really good going into the season knowing everything we need to look for," she said.

Just this week, the governor signed into law making it mandatory for coaches and referees to receive concussion training. The law also says players suspected of having a concussion will not be allowed to return to the game unless seen by a doctor.