Concussion

Northumberland Rugby Union Concussion Protocol

This protocol is for all rugby players playing in club, school, college, university, in rugby union representative squads and rugby league who have signs and symptoms of concussion.  It is vital that these situations are recognised as there can be serious consequences if the player sustains another concussion before recovery.

When a player sustains a head/neck injury or is suspected of such, the player must be attended by a suitably trained person who is confident to assess the injury and look for signs of concussion.  RFU Guidelines recommend every team has access to a qualified First Aider as a minimum requirement. 

Ultimately the referee has the over-riding power of veto; if the referee is not satisfied with the condition of the injured player, the referee can insist on the player’s removal from the field of play. Law 3.10

Age-Grade (Under 18) players

If the concussion happens at a school game, where possible, and with the consent of the parents, the player’s club should be informed.  Clubs, DPP , Representative Teams, Falcons Academy and rugby league have the same responsibility to ensure schools are informed. To achieve consistency in this regard we ask that all confirmed concussions be reported to Northumberland Rugby Union (email claire.sharpe@northumberlandrfu.co.uk) so that information sharing can be achieved consistently and with the proper consents. It is imperative parents/guardians of Age-Grade players take responsibility for the welfare of their child and ensure they do not play if concussion is suspected.  Parents/guardians should be advised to pass information between the various organisations their child is involved in.

Adult players

If the concussion happens at a club game, where possible, and with the consent of the player, the player’s club, and if appropriate University, Representative, Rugby League and Falcons should be informed. To achieve consistency in this regard we ask that all confirmed adult concussions be reported to Northumberland Rugby Union (email claire.sharpe@northumberlandrfu.co.uk) so that information sharing can be achieved consistently and with the proper consent.

If a player has been removed from play due to a possible concussion then that player should adhere to Graduated Return to  Play (GRTP) as there is no formal Head Injury Assessment (HIA) for players in the amateur game.  Further advice will be available when requested.

Reporting forms can be downloaded from the foot of this page.

Clubs, Schools, Universities and Representative squads must follow the RFU Concussion advice and GRTP recommendations.  Full details of the RFU protocols and GRTP can be found at

http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players-health/concussion-headcase/

The RFU and Northumberland Rugby Union recommends the use of Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool (symptoms and signs check list) this is available at

http://www.englandrugby.com/mm/Document/MyRugby/Headcase/01/30/49/53/pocketscat3_Neutral.pdf

The RFU online concussion education courses are aimed at players, coaches and match officials across the community game.  Backed by World Rugby and leading brain injury charity Headway, the courses are available at:

http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/player-health/concussion-headcase/

The 30 minute courses cover why it is important to manage concussion properly, and how everyone has a role in protecting and helping players through their recovery and return to play.

We want to ensure the health and safety of our players is placed at the centre of everything we do for our players, ensuring they are correctly prepared to play and that immediate care is available if they are injured and that they return to play when fully recovered.

Yours sincerely

John Reid Northumberland RU Chair of Governance

Cathryn Clark Northumberland RU Assistant Rugbysafe Manager