Tag Archives: rugby
The International Rugby Board has launched a new resource aimed at educating the public about concussions.
Available at www.irbplayerwelfare.com, the “Recognise and Remove” resource has been overseen by a group of independent concussion experts who are working with the IRB to continue to advance concussion education, prevention, management and research.
The resource features a simple guide to concussion for players, coaches, parents and referees, outlines the symptoms and calls upon the rugby community to “Recognise and Remove” any player displaying symptoms or suspected symptoms.
“This enhanced resource is designed to assist our unions with changing culture, educating players, coaches and family members at all levels about concussion symptoms and the need to treat any head injury with caution and care.”
Supporting materials include a Recognise and Remove poster (available in 11 languages) and guidance for the general public, which will also be available in 11 languages, while a Recognise and Remove video and social media awareness campaign is being produced featuring some of the biggest names in the Game.
The Independent Concussion Advisory Group members include: Professor Caroline Finch (Injury Prevention Researcher; Federation University Australia); Professor Bob Cantu (Neurosurgeon, Boston University); Dr Willie Stewart (Clinical Neuroscientist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow University) and Dr Jon Patricios (Sports Physician, South Africa)
Dr. Michael Grey, one of Britain’s leading experts in motor neuroscience, suggested recently to The Guardian that the Rugby Union could be facing an NFL-style concussion lawsuit in the near future.
Grey and others site the fact that the International Rugby Board has been accused by former medical advisor Dr. Barry O’Driscoll, in an interview with the BBC, of failing to place sufficient importance on treating concussion.
Grey issued the following warning through the paper:
“There’s the damage not only to the individual – and that has to be at the forefront of the mind – but we must also consider the sport itself.
“Absolutely a sport like rugby union could face something similar in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if something like that happens. If we do nothing when we know there’s a problem, then I could see that type of lawsuit occurring.
“We know this is a problem and it’s very clear that the information is not getting out correctly to coaches and particularly to kids when we have an obligation to inform them of the dangers.”
Grey went on to discuss the challenge that helmeted sports lead to a different, or worse, type of impact.
“The collisions are different but it doesn’t take very much impact to shake the brain and cause a concussion,” he said. “It doesn’t take a huge hit.”
The International Rugby Board (IRB) and its Member Unions have “reaffirmed their commitment to ensure best-practice concussion management procedure delivery by undertaking a full review of the first year of the application of the Pitchside Suspected Concussion Assessment (PSCA) protocols.”
The PSCA is designed to give teams and match doctors time to assess cases in which concussion is not immediately apparent. The IRB believes that “since its introduction as a global trial in 2012, (it) has proven highly successful, leading to 25 percent more players being removed from the field of play permanently following a head impact.”
The review will be overseen by the PSCA Working Group, which will assess the protocol’s “functionality and compliance, obtain feedback from team doctors and collectively ensure that the correct procedures are followed to ensure clear and consistent management of suspected concussion cases and further enhance best-practice delivery.”
Specifically, the PSCA allows team doctors to make an assessment in a quiet situation within a five minute interval. This calm environment away from the field of play and the pressures that come with operating in the middle of an incredibly noisy and often pressurized on-field situation hopefully will contribute to more accurate assessments, according to the IRB.
“The PSCA is intended to be a supportive tool for physicians in the elite Game,” said IRB Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery. “If a player is clearly displaying the signs of concussion, that player must be removed from the field of play and should not return to play.
“Concussion management is at the very heart of the IRB’s player welfare strategies and the message to players, coaches and parents is clear – if in doubt, sit it out.
“Our Member Unions have supported the PSCA process and recognize the enormous benefits that the PSCA process delivers in this important area of player welfare,” he added.
“All head injury incidents occurring within the PSCA trial are logged by the IRB Game Analysis unit for assessment. This review one year on from implementation will enable us to work with the physicians to review all the cases, identify practice learnings and reinforce the importance of following the correct procedures.”
Raftery continued: “The area of concussion is highly emotive and diagnosis is complex, especially in the heat of the battle, and the PSCA was developed in line with international best practice to assist doctors and give them the best possible platform to assess their players when it is unclear whether concussion is apparent.
“All the evidence suggests that the PSCA is proving to be a very effective tool to protect our players and team physicians are twice as likely to remove players from the field of play than independent medics, but we can and will continue to review and improve our practices to ensure that we are collectively doing all we can.”