New concussion recovery protocol adopted across Iowa

The cover page of the Iowa Concussion Consortium's guidelines for REAP - a new statewide system for concussion treatment.

With fall comes football - and with football comes hits. In some cases, those hits can lead to injury.

Nowadays, the information medical professionals continue collecting on concussions is shedding light on how head injuries should be handled.

The Iowa Department of Public Health - and multiple organizations across the state have adopted the REAP method for concussion recovery.

It's an approach that involves everyone in the athlete's life in their recovery.

"We need to respect the effects of concussions on the community at large and also take advantage of all the opportunities that the community has to help the individual," Dr. Devin Smith of St. Luke's Hospital says.

Xavier High School is one of many places across the state that gives baseline cognitive tests to their athletes participating in high-risk head injury sports prior to the season.

"Test your memory and their reactions and basically just the speed that they complete those type of things," Xavier activities director Andy Umthun says. "That just gives us one more thing. It's not a tell-all - but it's just one more tool we have to maybe see where our baseline is at."

"You can't treat things in isolation," Dr. Smith says. "You have to understand how it affects the person and how they're integrated into the community at large."

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