James Racchini, of IUP’s Health and Physical Education Department, appeared on WTAJ-Altoona on May 15, 2013, to discuss concussions in noncontact sports.
“I think it’s important for parents and coaches to understand that just because you aren’t involved in high-risk sports [football and hockey] that these injuries can occur,” Racchini said during his interview. “You need to be aware of the signs and symptoms so, when something isn’t quite right with one of these young children, they can get the attention they need.”
With all the media attention concussions in professional sports, Racchini also discussed how IUP students are learning the methods to diagnose and manage concussions.
“The education with our students is multifaceted, where they get a lot of clinical experience working with our licensed athletic trainers, our athletes, and athletes at local high schools,” he said. “They have the opportunity to take place in our preseason, baseline testing, which is a computerized test that measures the mental capacity and function of the brain so we know what’s normal for an individual.”
Along with baseline testing, Racchini also explained that students are taught how to diagnose concussion symptoms on sidelines and in clinics.
Racchini has a Bachelor of Science from IUP which he received in 1994, along with a Master of Science from Frostburg University in 1996 and a Doctor of Education from IUP in 2007. He is also a certified athletic trainer.
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