CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR confirmed that it is using the King-Devick test as part of its process to diagnose a concussion in a driver after an incident.
The test, developed in association with the Mayo Clinic, measures a person’s eye movement. Those taking the test are given a card and asked to read the numbers from left to right as quickly as they can without making any errors. The times required to complete each card are recorded and mistakes are noted in reciting the numbers to help determine if a person has a concussion.
“The field of concussions is constantly evolving, and we work with experts across the country in maintaining a proactive approach to prevention and assessment,’’ a NASCAR statement read. “At those experts’ recommendation, we are implementing the King-Devick test as part of a basic neurological exam for drivers in the IFCC.”
Said Kyle Busch: “A lot of times NASCAR has to help us from ourselves so I think that better technology obviously is something that we all ask for in order to make sure that we either have A, more opinions or B, better opinions and that we’re not held out of a race car for some other unforeseen circumstance.”
NASCAR confirmed the test a few days after IndyCar announced that it was using the clinical eye-tracking computer test known as I-PAS in the racing series’ concussion evaluation protocol. The I-Portal Portable Assessment System is known as the “goggles test.’’ It runs a high-quality diagnostic test to evaluate patients with symptoms of dizziness and or/balance disorders, especially those associated with medical conditions such as concussions, migraines or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
“IndyCar’s medical staff has used a number of tools to help improve its evaluation of concussions,” said Dr. Terry Trammell, safety consultant to IndyCar and its medical staff, in a statement. “It is a challenge to balance both the safety of the drivers and the need for them to be on the track to compete. I-PAS has proven to be an important part of the decision- making process as to if and when a driver with the possibility of having had a concussion may return to competition.’’