The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (Morahan Center) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the South Mountain Recreation Complex Codey Arena located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.
“The screenings offered through The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes help families take a proactive approach to concussion and cardiac issues in our youth athletes,” said Dr. Jason Krystofiak, the program’s medical director and a provider with the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health. “The goal is not to terrify people with statistics, but to try to protect young athletes and also not take them out of the things they love to do.”
When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac problems is provided to young athletes, sudden cardiac arrest and tragic deaths may be avoided. “Nearly 90 percent of sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes occur during or after athletic activities, and hidden heart conditions are often the cause,” said Krystofiak. “Cardiac screening, open to 6-to 18-year-olds, will help to identify players who may require further testing or intervention.”
FDA-approved ImPACT Pediatric concussion screenings are available to young athletes, ages five and older. Until recently, the screening was only available to those ages 10 and above.
According to Dr. Krystofiak, having a concussion baseline study (ImPACT) can help identify issues in the future. ImPACT Pediatric is an iPad-based computerized test that is individually and easily administered as well as engaging for children, while effectively measuring neurocognitive function: “If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury, this screening test may be used to evaluate the severity and determine when it is safe to return to play.”
The Morahan Center provides education, assessment and evaluation of sports injury and sports-related cardiac and concussion screening. Offering one of the most comprehensive pre-season screening and concussion management centers in New Jersey, the center partners with over 30 primary, secondary and NCAA partnerships across the state of New Jersey and has provided 40,000 screenings to youth sports athletes since 2010.
Screenings are free of charge, and an appointment is required. A parent or guardian is asked to be present. All participants of this program are required to wear face masks. Additionally, only one parent per family to attend to limit visitors and promote social distancing.
To request an appointment time, visit RWJBH.org/CBMcevents and search by event name.
For more information about the Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes, visit RWJBH.org/Morahan or call 973-322-7913.