Injury Management Series – Concussion

Written by LaneCoveCats

17 March 2015

We take injury management seriously.

StIves

Concussion is a unavoidable part of any contact sport. Here at the Lane Cove Cats, we follow the guidelines as set out by the AFL, who have undertaken a comprehensive review of their procedures over the past couple of years.

Any player who has suffered a concussion or is suspected of having a concussion must be medically assessed as soon as possible after the injury and will not be allowed to return to play in the same game or train in the same practice session.

Lane Cove Cats will have a trained first aider (trainer with current first aid qualifications) at every game and the principles of first aid, including management of the cervical spine, will be used when dealing with any player who is unconscious or injured.

We also recommend that a concussed player not return to school or return to training or playing before having a formal medical clearance.

For children (players aged 5-17)

The child is not to return to play or sport until they have successfully returned to school/learning, without worsening of symptoms. Symptom assessment in the child often requires the addition of parent and/or teacher input.

It is reasonable for a child to miss a day or two of school after concussion, but extended absence is uncommon.

It is critical that the basic principles of return to play decisions are followed to ensure that a concussed player is fully recovered before being allowed to do so.

All players with concussion or suspected concussion need an urgent medical assessment (with a registered medical doctor).

This assessment can be provided by a medical doctor present at the venue, local general practice or hospital emergency department.

A player with suspected concussion will be withdrawn from playing or training until fully evaluated by a medical practitioner and cleared to play.

The AFL has produced a handy concussion management guideline flyer.

Headgear

AFL’s stance on headgear or helmets is that they do not recommend for the prevention of concussion.

  • There is no definitive scientific evidence that helmets prevent concussion or other brain injuries in Australian football
  • There is some evidence that younger players who wear a helmet may change their playing style, and receive more head impacts as a result.

Helmets may have a role in the protection of players on return to play following specific injuries (e.g. face or skull fractures).

 

“IF IN DOUBT, SIT THEM OUT”

These concussion guidelines have been published by the AFL as a Position Statement on the Management of Concussion in Australian Football. It is based on guidelines developed by the AFL Medical Officers’ Association which incorporate research that has been funded by the AFL Research Board and which was undertaken by Dr Michael Makdissi, Assoc Prof Paul McCrory and Assoc Prof Gavin Davis.

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