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Concussion Guidance

This information is for Players, Parents, Coaches and anyone connected with rugby. It is based on the information provided by the RFU. You can see all of that information here

What is concussion? Is it serious?

Concussion is a disturbance of the normal working of the brain but without there being any structural damage. Most people who sustain a concussion do not require any treatment as they normally get better by themselves and recover quickly, but for some the symptoms may last for days, weeks or in rare cases even longer.

Is concussion different in young players?

In young players we do need to be more cautious. Because the child or adolescent brain is still developing, there is particular concern that concussion can have more of an impact on the brain, and a second concussion occurring before recovery of the first results in prolonged symptoms that can have a significant impact on the child.

Can more serious conditions appear like concussion?

Although extremely rare in sport, a blow to the head (direct or indirect) may first appear to be concussion, when in reality there is something more serious going on; such as bleeding or swelling in or around the brain. Sometimes the symptoms of a more serious brain injury do not occur for several hours or days after the initial injury has taken place. If not recognised, these injuries can have very serious consequences.

Can concussion in rugby be prevented?

Rugby is a full contact sport, with players running around in a confined area, and it is unrealistic that concussion will be removed completely from the game. In the same way concussions can occur on our streets and in school playgrounds every day. Ideally we all want to prevent concussions occurring in the first place and there are some measures that can be taken during rugby training and games that have the potential to reduce the number of concussions that we see.

Recommendations include:

Ensure the playing or training area is safe.
Ensure correct techniques are coached and performed consistently by all players.
Ensure the laws of the game are applied.

What about concussions sustained elsewhere?

To prevent recurrent concussions and the rare but potential risk of prolonged or severe injury, coaches, teachers and parents must encourage players to report concussions that occur during games and training sessions, and to report concussions that occur out of rugby. It is also essential that school and club coaches communicate between themselves if a player is concussed, and involve parents in these discussions[/url].

For more information on concussion in rugby please use the documents on the club website section Concussion Information here.

If a player sustains a concussion they should be managed in accordance with best practice guidelines. Use the links below to find specific information about managing concussion in rugby. It is recognised that the medical/first aid cover at training and matches varies, but the universal principles are encompassed in the 4 Rs, which are listed below.

Remember the 4 Rs
RECOGNISE the signs and symptoms.
REMOVE the player from play.
RECOVER fully before returning to sport.
RETURN only after following a Graduated Return to Play.

You can find more information on each of these in the Concussion Information documents on the club website here

Management of concussion (RFU website) here

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