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St. Luke’s Concussion Clinic Holds Fourth Annual Concussion Symposium

March 27, 2014

There still remains a lot of unknowns about the nature of  concussions and how to best diagnose and treat. To help sort through many of these issues, the St. Luke's Concussion will hold its Fourth Annual Concussion Symposium on April 12 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This half-day event is held at the St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center campus in the South Tower. The symposium is targeted toward physicians, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, parents and nurses. The event is free, but for medical providers looking to receive continuing education credits, there is a $40 fee.

“The Concussion Clinic holds events year-round, but the symposium is a way to really bring together both the community and providers and really streamline best practices and increase access in the community,” said Matt Kaiserman, Concussion Clinic Community Relations Coordinator.

The symposium will cover an array of concussion-related topics taught by certified experts in the field. The first topic of the event is the pathophysiology of concussion covered by Dr. Kurt Nilsson, the medical director at the St. Luke’s Concussion Clinic. Nilsson will cover the basics of what a concussion is and what the signs and symptoms are.

Although there has been a lot of recent research on concussions, there is still unknown about these types of injuries.

“It is still considered a clinical diagnosis which means it is really up to the doctor to make the best judgment call possible,” Kaiserman said.

The ambiguous nature of this diagnosis is what prompted people like Kaiserman, a former Boise State University football player whose career ended because of concussions, to lobby for concussion legislation that passed the Idaho Legislature in 2012.

Through this legislation, it is now required for youths who participate in public school athletic events and sustain a concussion that they be removed from further participation until written clearance from a medical provider.

Youth who participate in sports are at the most risk for concussions, but even daily activities can put youth at risk.

Kaiserman said the Concussion Clinic offers a leading-edge approach to assessing and treating concussions through their virtual central referral system in which they will coordinate the entire continuum of care.

Concussions affect a person long after the incident and recovery, the Clinic addresses this through a “concussion quality of life tool” in which the clinic addresses a patient’s quality of life years after the incident, he said.

“Through collecting this data, hopefully that will provide us a way to really figure out what works best when treating concussion patients,” said Kaiserman.

The Concussion Symposium will cover the topic of the recovery process such as integrating children that suffer a concussion back into school as well as addressing depression and anxiety which are common occurrences following concussions. At this year’s symposium, Alanna Pfannmuller has been invited to provide a parent’s perspective on concussions.

Registration deadline is April 7, individuals interested in attending may register online at http://stlukesonline.org/sports/concussion_symposium.php or by calling 208-381-9000. To download a flyer about the event click here.

For more information, contact Kirsten Atkinson, Public Relations Intern, at (208) 381-2892 or atkinska@slhs.org.