UPMC to offer free concussion tests for kids ages 10-14

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PITTSBURGH - As part of the Heads Up Pittsburgh program, athletes ages 10-14 can undergo a concussion test for free, officials with UPMC announced Monday.

The UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Pittsburgh Public School District received a grant from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society and, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and its Heads Up Pittsburgh partnership with UPMC Sports Medicine, will provide free concussion education, neurocognitive baseline testing and a neck-strengthening kit to campers at the Darnell Dinkins ETHIC Training program.

Katie Shaw was an outgoing, athletic teenager until two years ago when a freak head injury changed her life.

“I was reaching into my car to get my keys out.  I stood up really fast because I was rushing, and I whammed the top of my head off my door frame,” she said.

After 11 months of pain and being misdiagnosed, Shaw went to the UPMC.  Doctors finally diagnosed her with a concussion.  Her dad said a baseline test would have put his daughter on the road to recovery much sooner.

Doctors said a quick blow to the head can cause the brain to move around inside the skull, creating permanent damage.

Free baseline testing will take place at Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh’s South Side from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

The "Heads Up Pittsburgh" program has tested more than 11,000 youths and educated more than 24,000 in its three-year history.