12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The Guide to Concussion in Rugby Union outlines four simple, important, messages:
1. Stop - A player with a suspected concussion must be removed immediately and must not return to the field.
2. Inform - A player with suspected concussion should report it to a team medic, coach, teammate, friend or family member and be properly assessed and managed. They must not be left alone or drive a vehicle.
3. Rest - A player with a concussion must undertake a mandatory rest period as per IRFU guidelines outlined in the Guide to Concussion in Rugby Union.
4. Return - A player with a concussion must follow the IRFU Graduated Return to Play protocols and should be medically cleared prior to returning to full contact.
The guide calls on players to be honest with themselves and medical staff in reporting symptoms, outlines the need for comprehensive medical assessment of such injuries and warns that returning to play before the concussion is completely resolved may have extremely serious long-term health consequences.
The guide contains a pocket Concussion Recognition Tool that lists concussion signs and symptoms for players, coaches, officials, parents, team managers and medical staff.
This allows them to Recognise and Remove any player displaying concussion symptoms until the player has completed the appropriate IRFU Graduated Return To Play protocols.
Experts in sports medicine, neurology and other disciplines meet every couple of years to review the management of concussion.
To date, three of these meetings have taken place including Vienna (2001), Prague (2004) and Zurich (2008) and Zurich (2012).
Sports organisations including the International Rugby Board (IRB), FIFA, Federation Equestrian International (FEI), International Hockey Federation (IHF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) attend this conference.
Following each of these meetings, an international consensus statement is published detailing guidelines related to the management of concussion.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) have participated in developing these guidelines for the game of rugby union.
Zurich Consensus Statement (2012)
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