Footballers should be protected from concussion risk
Posted: July 17, 2014
Posted in: Head and Brain Injuries Sporting Injuries
The footballers’ union FIFPro has called for an investigation to be launched into how concussion protocols could be introduced into the sport. It has been argued that an independent doctor, as opposed to the player or coach, should make the decision regarding whether a player should return to the pitch following a head injury. It has been stated in a journal in ‘The Lancet Neurology’ that these decisions should not be made “by those with a vested interest”.
This debate was sparked by the recent World Cup whereby many of the players appeared to suffer concussion, but continued to play until the end of the match. One such incident occurred in the group match between England and Uruguay. Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira continued to play after being knocked unconscious by another player. Pereira said that he was encouraged by the team doctor to rest, but demanded that he remained on the pitch.
Automatically removed from the game
FIFA has been heavily critised for failing to handle concussion-related incidents safely. Medical writers argue that the dangers of a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) should be highlighted and that players should be automatically removed from the game in the event of injury. Mr Antonio Belli, reader in neurotrauma at the University of Birmingham, said:
“When players return to the pitch and continue playing, they are sending out the wrong message. There are lots of medical reasons not to continue.”
The long-term consequences of concussion can include dementia and other neurological degenerative diseases.
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