With only 10 days left until the start of the Rugby World Cup on 18th September, Freeclaim Solicitors are pleased to learn of new technology which will help medics to assess players who sustain a head injury during the game.

Rugby is a fantastic sport enjoyed by many – but it does come with risks. In particular, because it is a high impact sport, players are prone to head and neck injuries and concussion.

It is the responsibility of match officials to decide if a player is fit to continue in the event of an accident or bad tackle. Therefore we were pleased to discover that World Rugby had confirmed that they would be using Hawk-Eye SMART replay technology during games.

This technology will allow television match officials (TMO) to make more accurate and efficient decisions as well as aiding medical staff to determine the extent of head injuries. The footage will be extremely useful to doctors and other medical staff who may need to know more detail about the type of trauma to the head.

Brett Gosper, Chief Executive of World Rugby, said “the integrity of player welfare” is central to the sport. At all matches, a team of medical staff is on hand in the event of an accident and they operate under the World Rugby Recognise and Remove message which incorporates x 6 ‘R’s:

Recognise – medical staff, players and coaches are encouraged to learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Remove – if a player sustains a concussion or a suspected concussion, World Rugby recommends that they are removed from play immediately.

Refer – after removal from the pitch, the player should be referred immediately to a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions.

Rest –after a concussion, World Rugby recommends players to rest from exercise until they are completely symptom-free and then commence a “Graduated Return to Play”.

Recover – rules state that a player must be fully recovered from concussion before they are authorised to play.

Return – after a concussion, a player should be cleared to commence play again, in writing, by a qualified healthcare professional.

Recognising concussion in sport

Concussion can be a very serious condition and should not be taken lightly. You should familiarise yourself with the symptoms so that you can recognise the injury in yourself and others.

Symptoms of concussion include:

  • Loss of consciousness or falling in and out of consciousness.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Problems with eye sight and vision.
  • Confusion.
  • Problems with balance or dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Tiredness.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Problems with speech.
  • Concentration problems.

If you have had a blow to the head and experience any of the above you should seek medical attention immediately. Because the damage is internal, it can be easy to dismiss as less serious. However a doctor will need to determine the severity of your concussion and advise on appropriate action.

If you have suffered a concussion whilst playing organised sport, and you were allowed to continue playing despite your injury, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Call us to speak to one of our experienced solicitors today on 0800 612 7340.