Loyola Launches Multidisciplinary Concussion Program | | Loyola Medicine

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Loyola Launches Multidisciplinary Concussion Program

Brain MRI

MAYWOOD, IL –  Loyola Medicine has launched a multidisciplinary Concussion Program to diagnose and treat concussions in athletes and other patients.

The Illinois High School Association and state law require that every sports-related head injury be evaluated by a qualified medical professional before the athlete returns to practice or competition.

Loyola’s integrated concussion team includes specialists in sports medicine, primary care, neuropsychology, neurology and neurosurgery, who work with physical therapists and athletic trainers. Patients who suffer prolonged concussions often will be scheduled to meet with two or more healthcare providers in the same visit.

“A team approach is the best way to diagnose and treat concussions in adults, adolescents and child athletes,” said Nathaniel Jones, MD, a sports medicine specialist and member of the Concussion Program team. “We have assembled a nationally recognized team of specialists who can respond quickly to protect patients’ safety.”
Patients suspected of having a concussion will be evaluated for memory, concentration, thinking ability, pupil size, vision, strength, balance and reflexes. Imaging tests, such as CT and MRI scans, and electroencephalograms (EEGs) also may be administered.

The Concussion Program guides patients on appropriate return to sport or activity. It also helps coordinate and develop with schools a customized plan for students to return to their studies.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that alters the way the brain functions. Symptoms usually are temporary. But if a concussion is not diagnosed and properly treated, there’s a risk of death or severe health problems, including depression, second-impact syndrome, brain swelling and post-concussive syndrome (a continuation of symptoms for months). Loyola offers several treatment protocols for long-term concussion management, including a specialized exercise protocol in which symptoms are monitored while the patient is under exertion or stress.

Loyola also offers a vestibular rehabilitation program, in which physical therapists tailor individualized exercise programs to reduce dizziness and improve balance and motion sensitivities.

Other treatments include limiting mental exertion and visual activity at school or work; avoiding physical activity unless cleared by a physician; getting consistent, quality sleep; staying hydrated; eating a healthy diet; avoiding sustained exposure to light, sound and motion; and taking only those medications and supplements prescribed or recommended by a physician.

Loyola Medicine provides concussion care at the Loyola Center for Health at Oakbrook Terrace, Loyola Outpatient Center in Maywood, Loyola Center for Health at Elmhurst and Loyola Center for Health at River Forest.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.