Amateur athletes across Ireland will soon participate in a concussion testing and treatment program launched by UPMC, in partnership with several Irish sporting organizations.
Working with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Ladies Gaelic Football Association, The Camogie Association and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), UPMC is rolling out concussion baseline testing for players across 32 counties, with the goal of rapidly diagnosing and treating concussions in players. The new program, provided through each player’s county, builds on a pilot for baseline testing that was launched in 2021 with the GAA.
“UPMC is changing how health care is delivered in Ireland, and we are excited to use our world-renowned concussion treatment and testing experience to assist players across our national games,” said David Beirne, senior vice president of UPMC International who is based in Ireland.
Players will be tested using ImPACT, a computer-based neurocognitive assessment tool co-developed by concussion experts who now lead the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. ImPACT, which stands for immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing, sets a baseline for normal brain function, and records many aspects of an athlete’s cognitive state, including verbal and visual memory, brain processing speed and reaction time. While these tests alone do not diagnose a concussion, experts use the tool as part of a complete assessment to manage head trauma more precisely. Each year, UPMC Sports Medicine offers baseline testing for student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and others in the communities it serves.
A global provider of health care, UPMC operates three hospitals, two cancer centers, outpatient facilities and a national concussion treatment network in Ireland. It is also the official health care partner of the GAA and GPA.