IRFU GUIDE TO CONCUSSION
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.
Download the GUIDE TO CONCUSSION - click here.
A Practical Guide For Referees
It is important for referees to note that suspected concussion situations should be dealt with as heretofore, particularly when no medical practitioner and/or healthcare person is present.
- If a referee is concerned that a player is suffering from concussion, he should err on the side of caution and require that player to leave the field and not resume playing in the match. This is covered in the Laws of the Game, Law 3.9. Essentially, this is what currently happens.
- While referees will see a reference to Pocket Scat2 in the iRB Guidelines, it is important to clarify that it is not necessary to attempt to use this to assist in the identification of suspected concussion.
Referees should usefully acquaint themselves with the concussion symptoms as listed in the IRFU and IRB Guidelines
Law 3.9 - The Referee & Injured Players
LAW 3.9 THE REFEREE'S POWER TO STOP AN INJURED PLAYER FROM CONTINUING
If the referee decides - with or without the advice of a doctor or other medically qualified person - that a player is so injured that the player should stop playing, the referee may order that player to leave the playing area.
The referee may also order an injured player to leave the field in order to be medically examined.
IRB Guidlines on Concussion
Download the IRB Guidlines here.
Safety Guidelines Video
IRFU Safety Guidelines - Dealing with injuries duing the game