International Rugby Board Concussion Guidelines

Chris Pidgeon, the famous neurosurgeon was chating about head injuries in
Beaumont this morning. The dangers of concussion had been discussed at the
Neuroscience Conference.

If you look at the IRB guidelines and instructions,
I believe that team doctors are in a very invidious position regarding head
injuries. Take off your star player who is obviously concussed and the coach
and the fans are less than gruntled. Medical ethics says that you should but
we can all remember Irish Internationals playing on with obvious concussion.
Last saturday in Thomond Park v Leinster, Ronan O’Gara was concussed and the
TV commentators remarked on whether he was physically capable of taking the
penalty kick. He played on. I remember Gordon Darcy being out of it in the
RDS and playing on and Brian O’Driscoll our greatest
ever…………………….. The mind boggles. Chris told how young girls
are often fataly injured at gymkhanas and he had a death of a hurler. Horse
racing is very dangerous especially for jump jockeys. (? every 8 rides on
average, Flat every 200 rides). We had been reviewiing a brain in a man who
was a never say die professional boxer. Poor guy.

Can you imagine the who-ha if the doctors took off all the concussed players
in the World Cup in New Zealand!!!

The Ruby Players Unions around the world should get together and insist on
neutral doctors at senior matches especially when professional. Then medical
ethics would be honestly applied – ie putting the player’s brain first not
the team or the coach.

The idea of no head contact in training in American Grid Iron Football would
reduce concussions by more than 50%. Rugby training could follow suit.