What We Offer at Health Assessment Center for Athletes

Physical activity is a great way for people of all ages to stay healthy, but it is not without its own risks. It is important for athletes to stay on top of their cardiac health and screen for concussions whenever they suffer a head injury. The Morahan Center provides education, evaluation, and assessment of sports injuries. We are committed to educating athletes, parents, coaches, and athletic trainers about sudden cardiac death and concussion issues.

The Morahan Center is a statewide program offering young athletes access to free and low-cost cardiac screenings and baseline concussion testing in various satellite centers throughout New Jersey.

The Importance of Cardiac Screenings

Heart conditions are not limited to adults. Numerous children are born with congenital heart conditions that do not manifest symptoms until the child participates in athletic activities. According to the American Heart Association, 90% of cardiac deaths in young athletes occur in youth sports-related competitions. The state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Education requires all school athletes to be examined by a primary care physician at least once per year for a full physical, including heart health screenings.

Electrocardiograms (EKGs) are not yet a state requirement, even though they can diagnose many conditions other heart screening tests cannot. At the Morahan Center, we offer EKG cardiac screenings for patients ages 6 to 18 from our experienced pediatric cardiologists.

The following symptoms during or after physical activity are signs that a student-athlete may have a heart condition:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Abnormally heavy breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

These symptoms can be subtle and hard to identify, especially since many of them mirror the usual effects of physical exertion. If your family had a history of heart conditions, there is a higher likelihood that you or your child has one as well. It is important to receive regular screenings so you can prevent or react to a cardiac event in a timely manner.

Concussion Care

A concussion is the result of a blow to the head, neck, jaw, body or face that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and moves the brain within the skull. Concussions are particularly dangerous in that people often fail to realize they have one. The effects of a concussion are not always immediate. This can leave the injury undiagnosed and untreated can result in long-term damage. If you or a loved one has sustained a blow to the head, you should consult with a doctor if you experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, or any other abnormal behavior.

At the Morahan Center, we perform a non-invasive battery of concussion tests including computer based assessments such as ImPACT and King-Devick. We also perform active testing such as balance and treadmill as well as Vestibular and Ocular testing such as the Vestibular Ocular Motor Screen or VOMS. These tests are a quick and efficient way for patients to have their cognition and symptom thresholds and limitations evaluated and determine whether or not a head injury resulted in a concussion.

Download patient screening forms here.

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(973) 322-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
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RWJ Physical Therapy at Scotch Plains
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RWJ Physical Therapy at New Brunswick
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(732) 545-0494
The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 002, Lower Level, East Wing
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7913
RWJ Rehabilitation Lawrenceville
4152 Quakerbridge Road
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(609) 245-7420
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Suite 208
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(201) 915-2000

Athlete Screenings Treatment & Care

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