Pippa arranged a fascinating lecture at Rosslyn Park where her colleague Dr. Katy Hornby is the medical lead and spoke to an audience of parents, coaches and referees about concussion.
We tend to think of concussion as more of a rugby thing but in fact footballers are also at risk and I would have thought it was more likely in the adult game but its clear to me now that parents need to be fully informed about the symptoms, the recovery time and how very careful junior players need to be about returning to their sport, however much they may love it and be desperate to get back on the pitch.
The three things that stood out for me were that :
- you don’t have to be hit on the head to get concussion – it can just as easily happen with a rapid head movement and no contact
- we still don’t know exactly what is going on physiologically in the brain following concussion
- children are especially vulnerable to something called second impact syndrome, where the brain has not recovered from the initial impact and another much milder force can be catastrophic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-impact_syndrome
Its funny how sometimes you can learn something new and almost immediately it feels like everyone is talking about it!
Since the lecture there has been a radio 4 programme about concussion in football (not only during tackles but when they are ‘heading ‘ the ball, footballers can risk injury) and of course there was the controversy following the England Wales rugby match while more locally a young amateur footballer was hospitalised in a coma, thankfully now recovered.
The RFU is promoting concussion management all year with their HEADCASE campaign guiding you through a quick checklist of signs and symptoms you can find out more about it here: http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/player-health/concussion-headcase/