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How to manage concussion in football

Last nights’ defeat to Uruguay saw another inept incident of concussion management in football. A player and the coaching staff should not be allowed to dictate if the player can continue to play on after a head injury.

Pereira seemed to have been knocked unconscious by Sterling’s unintentional knee to the head. He seemed motionless for a good 10-20 seconds. After being removed from play and the team doc signalling for him to be substituted the player reacted badly and insisted on being reinserted to play. The player cannot be allowed to make this decision and the coaching staff should respect the doctors decision to remove the player.

Luckily there seems to be no negative consequence to this shambolic episode, however FIFA need clear guidelines like they have in the NFL, AFL and rugby.

If a player loses consciousness on the field of play they should have a pitch side medical assessment and then they should not be left alone for at least and hour or two after the event. If symptoms of concussion remain (dizziness, nausea, forgetfulness, unusual sleepiness) they should be taken to A and E immediately.

If they don’t display any symptoms then they should be gradually managed back in to full training over a number of days post event.

Don’t’ gamble with your own or your players lives.

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