General Discussion NRL Concussion Thread

Discussion in 'NRL Discussion' started by mt.wellington, May 31, 2014.



  1. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    This has been an interesting, and well overdue, rule the NRL have brought out to help avoid long term damage to players brains. Started this thread to act as the home of concussion discussion. There were some great posts by Raurimu MassiveRaurimu Massive and Sup42Sup42 in another thread (think it was the Shoulder Charge thread) on this very issue but I cant find them anymore.

    Lately I have read some great articles on this very rule or the effects of concussions on players so I'll post those up.

    First though, lets look at the NRL's Concussion Rules...

    Concussion guidelines explained
    By Tony Webeck

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    Tim Mannah was rocked in the opening tackle but was cleared to return to the field for the Eels. Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos

    New carefully-considered guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of concussion were introduced to the NRL during Round 1 with a total of eight players removed from the field of play for further testing by medical staff.

    Four of those players were cleared of any concussion and allowed to return but with questions surrounding potential flouting of the rules to gain an advantage via a free interchange, NRL.com spoke with the NRL's general manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk about the process that takes place and penalties for any misuse of the new guidelines.

    "It's really important for fans to understand the process that takes place when one of their players does suffer a head injury and how they can or can't return to the field of play depending on what actually occurs," McGuirk explains.

    "I think after Round 1 everyone would still agree that the game is still tough enough but we have to put rules and procedures in place that are in the best interests of the welfare of all of our players and that's what we're doing."

    Injury and initial assessment
    As Parramatta skipper Tim Mannah discovered on Sunday afternoon, a head injury can occur in the very first tackle of the game or at any point thereon throughout the 80 minutes of an NRL clash. As he stumbled to play the ball from the opening hit-up, Mannah was displaying one of the five key symptoms that a club's head trainer needs to be monitoring in order to determine whether a concussion has in fact taken place or not. As soon as Mannah stumbled, it was incumbent on the Eels head trainer to take him from the field for further testing.

    "If he notices any one of those five symptoms the player has to leave the field immediately to be assessed," says McGuirk.

    "That doesn't necessarily mean that the player is ruled out for the rest of the game. What it means is the player has to go in to the 15-minute sideline concussion assessment, which is conducted by the club doctor.

    "The role of the head trainer is extremely important in this and he is the sole determiner along with the club doctor in whether or not a player has suffered one of these five symptoms.

    "They need a Level 2 Sports Medicine Australia qualification to be a head trainer and from 2015 those standards are raising. To be a head trainer in the NRL in 2015 onwards you will need to have some type of formal medical qualification."

    Assessment by club doctor
    Once a player displays one of those five symptoms consistent with a possible concussion, they are taken from the field for further, more formal assessment by the club medical officer. A Sideline Concussion Assessment (SCA) is to be conducted within 15 minutes of the player being presented to the doctor for examination with the test normally taking between eight to 10 minutes to complete. The examination is undertaken using the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) protocols and a decision made on whether the player can return to the field immediately, remain off the field to undergo further assessment or ruled out altogether. An SCA official will be present at each game to monitor the timeframe in which the process takes place.

    "Once the player is in the hands of the club medical officer a stopwatch begins and a 15-minute assessment period starts from that time period," McGuirk explains.

    "We had a case with Frank-Paul Nuuausala where he was taken from the field behind the in-goal line and it took him about a minute-and-a-half to get to the club doctor on the halfway line.

    "From experience on the weekend it was around a 10-minute period that the club medical officer requires in order to complete the SCAT3 test which is a three-page document the doctor has to go through and complete certain questions as part of the examination on the player.

    "If it is deemed after that examination that the player has suffered a concussion then that player is not allowed to return to the field of play for the remainder of that game."

    Period in which a player can return
    Although a player must return to the field within the 15-minute window in order to take advantage of the free interchange, it doesn't mean they cannot return later in the game if they are off the field for a longer period of time.

    Indeed, it may be quite common for a club doctor to continue to monitor the physical well-being of a player on the sidelines to ensure a concussion isn't developing if an initial assessment is not conclusive.

    "Concussion can be an evolving injury over time," McGuirk says. "A player can show little to no symptoms in the first 5-10 minutes of an assessment but progressively get worse. Sometimes the doctor may err on the side of caution and wait a little longer to see how potentially the injury evolves over time. And that may not occur, so potentially the player can be assessed over a 30-minute period and the doctor can decide that the injury hasn't evolved and they can clear the player to return to the field of play."

    But in all instances, if a concussion is deemed to have occurred following the SCAT3 assessment, the player is not permitted to take any further part in the game.

    Potential for exploitation
    Any time a new rule or interpretation is introduced to rugby league coaches immediately begin looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. Questions have already been raised as to whether the lure of a free interchange will be too tempting for teams to refuse but McGuirk points to the serious repercussions for any abuse of the guidelines and positive acceptance by the medical fraternity within the NRL to the changes as to their integrity.

    "We've put some very strong guidelines around any club that is proven to have used a SCA for any reason other than what's described in the rules," he says.

    "The penalties can range from anything from a substantial fine, people having their registrations suspended to potentially the loss of competition points. It would be viewed as similar to a team having an additional player on the field or an additional interchange."
     
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  2. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    Something that should be mandatory at ALL NRL sanctioned games, not just their flagship wankfest...

    State of Origin: NRL appoints independent doctor to help avoid concussion headache
    Date May 23, 2014
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    New territory: a tournament medical officer has been appointed for the Origin series. Photo: Getty Images

    An independent doctor will have the opportunity to push for a player to be removed from the field because of concussion as the NRL steps up their player welfare campaign in Wednesday’s State of Origin.

    In a rugby league first, a tournament medical officer has been appointed for the Origin series and will assist state doctors while having access to a video monitor which will allow them to review any concussed players and watch replays of any head knocks. Former North Sydney and Manly physician Ken Crichton will fill the role and will sit away from the Blues' doctor Nathan Gibbs and Queensland’s Roy Saunders, but will have a line of communication open to the duo. If he feels that a player is wobbly in any way, he can direct that they be taken from the field.

    Origin will be played under the NRL’s new concussion rules. Fairfax Media revealed earlier this month that Origin trainers and doctors have been warned they faced deregistration if they do not comply with the new concussion guidelines. Staff could be fined up to $20,000 for a breach.

    NRL head of football Todd Greenberg made a whirlwind visit to the Blues camp in Coffs Harbour and spoke to the NSW staff for about 45 minutes about the new measure, having met Queensland staff earlier this week. The meeting also reinforced the code’s stance on supplements.

    Blues coach Laurie Daley said he supported the change.

    “The understanding of the concussion rule is really important because the NRL want to protect the welfare of their player and given it is the biggest stage our game has, they are well aware of a lot of people watching and taking notes,” Daley said. “So our medical staff have been made aware.

    “I think the player's welfare comes first and it's not as if we're talking about a player battling away with a knee injury or shoulder injury. It's a brain issue and in five years' time what damage may come from receiving a knock to the head?

    “There is not going to be a penalty on the night but the penalty is going to be as severe as people getting stood down from their positions if they haven't made the right call. They're pretty significant penalties. With the staff I have, they have told me regardless of what I want, they will be making the decisions. I said that's good because it takes it out of my hands and the responsibility is theirs. That's the way it should be.”

    The NRL tightened their supplements policy last year as a result of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation into the code. Greenberg mentioned that in his meeting.

    "It was just some strong policies that have been implemented that the doctor's of the state team's are liaising with the club doctors to ensure the supplement registers are being complied with and making sure communication is good,” Greenberg said.

    Greenberg also reminded that the “one-punch and your off” edict remained in place, after four players, including Trent Merrin, Greg Bird, Justin Hodges and Brent Tate, were sin-binned in game two last year.

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  3. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    Fantastic first hand article on the effects of concussion on Shontayne Hape. Well worth a read...

    My battle with concussion
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    5:00 AM Saturday May 31, 2014

    Shontayne Hape played international league for the Kiwis and international rugby for England - until repeated head injuries ended his career and threatened his future health.
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    Shontayne Hape. Photo / AP

    Growing up playing league in New Zealand, everyone got knocked out at some point. Everyone got concussed. I can't think of a single guy I played with who didn't. You just got up and played on. We were told to be Warriors. It's the nature of the sport. Harden up. That was the mentality. I was brought up with that.

    I reckon I'd have been concussed 20 times by the time my professional league career with the Warriors, Bradford and the Kiwis ended with a switch to English rugby. That was nothing compared to what was to come.

    After playing for England at the rugby union world cup in 2011 I joined London Irish for the 2011/12 season.

    Halfway into the season against Gloucester I copped a knee to the head and was knocked out. I told the club's medical staff I'd copped a head knock, but didn't admit the full extent of it, that I'd blacked out. The next week against Harlequins I copped another knock. It was a pure accident. Our lock Nick Kennedy kneed me in the temple and it put me straight to sleep. Concussion on concussion. That was the big one for me, the worst I've ever felt.

    The following day I was to undertake some head questionnaire tests relating to how I was feeling and my symptoms, and the results were shocking - some of the worst they'd ever seen. They stood me down for eight weeks, which was the protocol.

    I've always loved music. DJ-ing is my hobby and I have my own turntables and gear at home. But the effects of the concussion meant I couldn't bear to listen to music. The sound was too much. Sunlight was a problem too. I had to stay in a blacked-out room for days. I'd bike to training and by the time I'd get there my head would be throbbing and I'd have to go home to rest. My tolerance for my three young kids was zero. I was always angry around them, couldn't even last a minute without getting cross and losing my cool.

    My relationship with my wife Liana suffered. She was left to manage the three children and household on her own, while I tried to get my head right.

    By the time my stand-down was over there was only three or four games left in the season, so there was no point in coming back. That meant I'd had a four-month break by the time I arrived in the south of France to play for Montpellier in the French Top 14 competition.

    WHEN I came down here everything was cool. I felt fresh and had been cleared to play. I felt like my concussion problems were behind me. I was actually more worried about the state of my knees.

    In England it is a standard procedure for all players to perform a computerised pre-season head test. There are a few different versions of the test used around the world, but they are all basically the same thing. They take about 10 minutes sitting at a computer. The test establishes a baseline score that you'll have to match later in the season if you cop a head knock. The problem with the test is that players can manipulate it by under-performing so that later if you have a head knock and you have to beat it you normally can. In my league days the boys all beat the test and everyone kept on playing.

    In the back of your mind you are aware of the dangers, but you are paid to get out there and play and you want to play. You never think anything bad is going to happen to you. So you just do it.

    Some clubs don't even bother with the computerised test. You evaluate yourself through a questionnaire. When I got knocked out the first time at Montpellier I just said 'oh nah I'm fine'. They ask if you were dizzy, feeling fatigued, in a daze, headaches, etc, on a scale of 0-10. If your total score was too high you'd be stood down.

    That first French concussion came in my fifth game, against Toulon. I clashed heads with someone in a ruck. I felt terrible, but decided to bite the bullet. When you come to a new club and you are an international player you are supposed to impress. I was on the biggest contract of my career, so there was a load of pressure to deliver. You don't want to let anybody down. You have to be out there playing.

    I played the next week and got knocked out again. A prop was running past me and accidently kneed me in the head as I off-loaded a ball. It was just slight tap but it got me in the wrong place. This time I was really worried. They rested me for a week. That's the French rest. Normally you'd have two-four weeks of doing nothing. In France it was 'okay we'll rest you for a week and you'll be fine'.

    There was constant pressure from the coaches. Most coaches don't care about what happens later on in your life. It is about the here and now. Everyone wants success. They just think 'if we pay you this you are going to do this'.

    Players are just pieces of meat. When the meat gets too old and past its use-by date, the club just buys some more. You get meat that's bruised or damaged, the club goes and buys some more.

    I sat out for a week but I wasn't right. I was back to having constant migraines. I was pretty much in a daze. Things had got so bad I couldn't even remember my PIN number. My card got swallowed up twice. My memory was shot.

    Dosing up on smelling salts, Panadol, high caffeine sports drinks and any medical drugs like that to try and stop the dizziness, fatigue and migraines was the only way I could get through trainings and matches.

    I went through the next four or five months like that. Pretty much a zombie.

    LOOKING BACK I could have prevented a lot of the pain I caused myself by telling the doctors much earlier how I really felt. But I wasn't thinking straight. You are under constant pressure from all angles - coaches, team mates, fans - and you don't want to let them down. I also wanted to play on to achieve my bonuses, especially when you know your career is coming to an end.

    Somehow I got through 11 games but by then I was falling apart. I would try not to get involved in rucks because I was terrified of getting knocked out again. My performances were terrible and eventually I was dropped. It was the first time I'd ever been happy about it. I was just happy I was going to give my head a rest.

    I had three weeks of no games and I thought that would sort me out. But heading into my comeback match I was knocked out at training. It wasn't even a head clash. One of the boys just ran a decoy line and bumped into me and I was knocked out. When you are getting knocked out and no one is even touching your head you realise things have got pretty bad.

    But I still didn't tell anyone. I played the match and got knocked out in the first tackle. I tackled a guy and I was out. Asleep.

    I'd been telling the docs on the field that it was my shoulder, I had a stinger, or I was just a little dazed. But after the game I knew I had to do something. I phoned my mum and my agent. They said I had to put my health first. At a team meeting our coach Fabien Galthie, a former French halfback, grilled me for lying in the ruck and giving a penalty away. I didn't want to admit that I was lying there was because I had been knocked out. It was humiliating. Galthie was blowing me up in front of my team mates and I just held my tongue.

    Afterwards he came to me to talk about my performance. I was like "I'm over it, I have to come clean". I told him the reason I had given away the penalty and my performances had been below par was because I was knocked out and suffering from concussions. He couldn't believe it.

    The club sent me to the Montpellier Hospital for scans. Sitting in a dark room with electrodes attached to my head looking a big blue screen, I felt like a patient in a psychiatric hospital.

    I was told to count in my head while doctors monitored my brain function. I did tests for memory and vision. They show me seven or eight pictures of, say, a tree, couch, bird or a bike. When they turned the page and asked me what I'd just seen I could only remember one or two things. The specialist showed me on chart the average score for someone with a normal brain. My score was just above someone with learning difficulties.The specialist explained that my brain was so traumatised, had swollen so big that even just getting a tap to the body would knock me out.

    He referred to me to another top specialist in Paris but he was very clear - I had to retire immediately.

    Back at the club I broke down in tears telling Galthie.

    Everyone dreams of going out on the right note, winning a final and going out with everything intact. I had been told I couldn't do what I'd been doing all my life. I was gutted. The club was shocked.

    But even then they tried to overrule the medical advice. They said they'd rest me for a couple of months and see if I could recover.

    I knew I was being told it was over but I'd heard of guys taking six-month sabbaticals and coming back. I got in touch with Michael Lipman, the former Bath captain, who had been forced to retire by multiple concussions. He said he'd experienced exactly the same stuff that was going on with me, and advised me to listen to the specialists and stop playing. Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.
    But you just think "this is my living, this is what I do". I'd had three reconstructions and barely any cartilage left, so I always thought I'd retire because of my knee. The docs tell you "we can fix that, we can get a new knee, we can fix that shoulder". But with your head, you only get one head.

    I knew that, but I still couldn't accept it was over.

    I was thinking I'd rest for a year and then make come back. That's why I never told anyone I was retired.

    To go with the denial, I went into depression. I was lucky I had some great support around me, from my wife, family and the players association in England.

    The RPA and my good mate Nigel Vagana and Paul Heptonstall of NRL Welfare & Education team are putting some great things in place to help players transition to the next stage of their lives, but it's still incredibly tough dealing with the fact you are washed up in your early 30s.

    In January I finally accepted it was all over. I'd read about a young club player in Auckland who died after suffering a head knock in a game. My fourth child was on its way. I was 33. Was playing for one more year really worth risking my life?

    I've suffered depression, constant migraines and memory loss. I can see now the improvements I've made. I've completed an online brain training course and have started studying for a BA (Hons) Degree in Leadership and Management.

    TRYING TO learn again is a challenge. I can remember things that happened a long time ago but things that happened yesterday, names, numbers and stuff, I constantly forget.

    Growing up I used to wonder what was wrong with my granddad when he couldn't remember things. I'm not a granddad, I'm in my 30s. I've got the concentration span of a little kid. My oldest son can sit at the table and do stuff for hours. When I do my university assignments I struggle. Half an hour and that's me.

    I am in a much better place now that I'm not getting beaten up every week. But I do worry about Alzheimer's and dementia. The doctors can't tell me what is going to happen to me in 10 years time. Research has shown that's when it catches up with you.

    I'm not telling my story because I want sympathy. I'm telling it because this is an issue people, particularly young players, need to know about. More people need to speak out about it, tell the truth if they are suffering. Most players won't, though, for fear of being thought of as soft or because of the financial pressures.

    Rugby and league have come a long way in dealing with concussion but there is still a lot further to go.

    Recently I watched a quarterfinal between Toulouse and Racing Metro. Florian Fritz got knocked out, blood pissing out everywhere. He was totally in Lala Land. He came off and a medic came out of the tunnel and told him to get back on. He did but he was in no [fit] state. I see stuff like that all the time. It's what I used to do.

    Fans used to see that sort of thing and go "Wow, he's tough". We need to change that mentality.

    Young players don't fully understand the risks of playing on with concussion. The most dangerous thing with concussion is that it's an injury you can't see. That makes it easy to ignore - something that happens far too often.

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  4. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    Star's courageous brain-injury battle
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    8:58 AM Saturday May 31, 2014

    Former Warrior reveals emotional cost of concussion hits
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    Shontayne Hape says there is a huge amount of pressure on players to play through injury. Photo / AP

    Kiwis and England star Shontayne Hape has been forced into retirement and left fearing for his mental health after suffering repetitive head trauma during his glittering rugby and league career.

    Auckland-born Hape, who played 14 league tests for the Kiwis and 13 rugby tests for England between 2004 and 2012, says he suffered over 20 concussions during his career, resulting in constant migraines, sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, memory loss and depression.

    The 33-year-old, whose wife Liana is due to give birth to the couple's fourth child any day, last played for Montpellier in the French top 14 competition last year. After suffering three concussions during a single season he underwent tests that revealed his brain function was just above that of someone with special needs.

    "Things had got so bad I couldn't even remember my PIN number," he said. "My card got swallowed up twice. My memory was shot. Dosing up on smelling salts, Panadol, high caffeine sports drinks and any medical drugs like that to try and stop the dizziness, fatigue and migraines was the only way I could get through trainings and matches."

    Hape said that professional rugby players in both codes frequently endangered their health by under-reporting concussion symptoms.

    He hoped sharing his experiences - which he details fully in today's Weekend Herald - would help prevent young players making the same mistakes he had.

    The pressures on players to play on through injuries were immense, he said.

    "When you come to a new club and you are an international player you are supposed to impress. I was on one of the biggest contracts of my career [at Montpellier], so there was a load of pressure to deliver. You don't want to let anybody down. You get paid to get out there and play and you want to play. You never think [anything bad] is going to happen to you, so you do it."

    He also blames the club system in the professional era.

    "Players are just pieces of meat. When the meat gets too old and past its use-by date, the club just buys some more. You get meat that's bruised or damaged, the club goes and buys some more."

    The brain trauma he suffered on the rugby field had damaged his personal life by affecting his ability to function as a father and husband.

    "My tolerance for my three young kids was zero. I was always angry around them, couldn't even last a minute without getting cross and losing my cool. My relationship suffered."

    While many of his concussion symptoms have cleared, Hape still fears for his future health.

    "I can remember things that happened a long time ago but things that happened yesterday, people's names, numbers and stuff, I constantly forget. Growing up I used to wonder what was wrong with my granddad when he couldn't remember things. I'm not a granddad, I'm in my 30s. I've got the concentration span of a little kid.

    "I worry about Alzheimer's and dementia. The doctors can't tell me what is going to happen to me."

    Pre-season cognitive tests designed to help detect concussion were ineffective as players often manipulated the results to avoid being stood down, he said.

    "Young players don't fully understand the risks of playing on with concussion. The most dangerous thing with concussion is that's its an injury you can't see. That makes it easy to ignore - something that happens far too often."

    Player says he and others cheated in cognitive tests

    Professional rugby players routinely manipulate the results of tests designed to stop them taking the field while concussed, says Shontayne Hape.

    The former dual league and rugby international said he manipulated baseline pre-season cognitive tests and under-reported concussion symptoms during his 13-year professional career, something that was never detected by the clubs or national bodies he played for.

    The admission - the first by a player of Hape's stature - comes as rugby and league authorities have been trumpeting their progress in dealing with concussion issues.

    Hape said the computerised test widely used throughout the rugby world was often ineffectual - a claim backed up by a leading concussion expert.

    "You have a test at the start of the season but the boys [fellow players] all know how to beat it," Hape said. "You don't do the test to your full ability. You know that when you get knocked out you are not going to be as good and that if you don't beat your score you can't come back. Everyone wants to come back, so you beat it."

    Hape, who has not played since suffering severe concussion symptoms playing for Montpellier in the 2012/13 season, has retired on medical advice.

    Concussion expert Rosamund Hill said senior rugby players within New Zealand had also admitted to intentionally under-performing during baseline testing.

    "I have heard that from senior-level players, who I will not name, that you don't want to do too well in the pre-season testing because it doesn't give you much room if something happens," Dr Hill said.

    An international player who Dr Hill evaluated at the 2011 Rugby World Cup two days after he had been knocked unconscious in a match had claimed to be free of concussion symptoms.

    "He didn't look well and I didn't believe him," Dr Hill said. "The problem is you can't rely on the player in that position to be completely honest. That's understandable. It's their career. They want to play and they don't appreciate the risk to their health.

    "They are understandably desperate to get back on the field. This is the pinnacle of their career. You know they are under-reporting."

    Computerised baseline tests such as those employed in professional rugby and by the NRL could actually end up being counter-productive if players did not return accurate results, she said.

    "It is worse than not having been tested at all because the medical professional that is looking at it is getting the wrong idea."

    A foolproof neuropsychological test could be employed but it was time-consuming and expensive, so only tended to be used when players had already been diagnosed with concussion symptoms.

    New Zealand Rugby insisted its concussion detection processes were robust.

    "We are very confident that the processes we have in place in regard to baseline testing and in-season assessment of players safeguard against attempts to disguise concussions," medical director Dr Ian Murphy said.

    Warriors doctor John Mayhew said he doubted New Zealand-based players intentionally manipulated the results of concussion tests.

    "In the very old days when it was a pen and paper test the players would do that," Dr Mayhew said. "Now, if somebody tried to do that we'd suddenly have an artificial result - we'd say for a 26-year-old guy this test is crap. He might have cheated it but I'd be surprised if it wasn't picked up. The test is good enough to pick up when someone is deliberately trying to make a cock-up of it.

    "We are not having the issue [Hape] is talking about. I'm not naive enough to think people don't [try to cheat the tests]. I've had people try to do that, but I think generally you'd pick up that something had gone wrong."

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  5. matiunz
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    matiunz 1st Grade Fringe

    Completely agree with the independent Dr, some teams *cough bulldogs cough* blatantly disregarding concussion rule as it currently is. Would also look at an 18th man player able to join the bench if a player is lost to concussion (as diagnosed by independent Dr).
     
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  6. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    The fact that it leaves the team short is just another level of pressure on the player to get back on. The independent Doctor idea is a no brainer IMO. If your a little weakling like the Bulldogs Doctor and big James graham tells you to fuck off then 10 times out of 10 you'll limp off that field with your tail firmly between your legs. Thats exactly what happened at Eden Park during our Round 6 encounter.

    Also have been advocating the 18th man rule. The 18th man travels with all teams anyway so it wont cost the NRL a single cent extra. Easy enough to come up with a sensible rule about when he is allowed on.

    Sadly with the shocking judiciary ruling over Josh Reynolds tackle on Brent Tate I have little faith in the NRL to get on top of this issue...
     
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  7. snake77
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    snake77 Warriors 1st Grader

    The independent doctor should be looked at the argument that the club doctor knows the player is all well in good but they are going to get pressured by players, coaches and club officials. Fine to have them there but the independent doctor should have the final say.

    The NRL is so competitive with every person or club wanting to get any advantage they can. Even a lot of the commentators start getting sceptical as soon as a player stays on the field now. In our second game against the Dragons our usual Warrior hater Gary Belcher was criticising the Warriors for leaving Peyroux on the field while being concussed. I thought at the time that doesn't seem right as our doctor has been talking about the effects of concussion for years. The next week it came out that Peyroux was suffering from an inner ear type of injury.

    Like the seminars the under 20's players get with professional sports life, interacting with the media etc. The best thing to do is to educate the younger guys coming through so they have their whole career knowing that they should look after themselves.

    This is one thing the NRL shouldn't drop the ball on. Most of the discussion has been on the fear of players taking legal action. The thing you don't read about to often is the incidents involving some of the former NFL players I'd hate to read about some of our favourites doing similar things.
     
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  8. macker
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    macker Guest

    It's just not worth it, if it means ending up permanently cross-eyed.:wacky:
     

  9. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    The independent Dr needs to be a Neurologist.

    Screw these Fight Dr Types who hang around Boxing out of a personal interest in having ring side seats while applying a very crude ' concussion is part of fighting ' assessment mindset.

    Medicine is from the Military model
    A specialist consultant Neurologist is a Colonel in the eyes of the Club Dr who is a Captain....at Least two rungs higher on the Ladder....as such it is ingrained in the Club Dr to defer to thier Senior.

    Dr's do not challenged the Rank.....unless they are certain the Patients going to clap out.....otherwise they defer to the Medical rank.

    In practical terms that would mean the Club Dr is under pressure to hand over a objective / medical opinion.....thereafter the independent has a look themselves and makes recommendations which is really the ideal.....club Drs should be brought back into the model of being supported by specialists.....they shouldn't be making front line calls in a pressured agenda climate.

    When you go to your Gp off sick from work.....you don't have to worry about them being the 'company Dr ' now do you......you don't have to be concerned that there is any pressure on your GP to consider the interests of you employer.

    Most Dr's at the coal face know their regulars better than any independent.....however the same Dr in the real world is only too happy to defer to a specialist who is on the big bucks to make the big calls.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  10. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    A Case from another sport which emphases why the status quo can't continue.

    People have to get their heads around the fact that head injury is poorly understood. Knowledge is evolving all the time.

    Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.
     
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  11. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    Rugby teen dies after head injury
    6:48 PM Sunday Jul 6, 2014
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    Jordan was knocked out after a suspected head clash yesterday.

    A young rugby player has died after being critically injured during a rugby game in Whangarei yesterday.

    Jordan Kemp was admitted to Auckland City Hospital yesterday, and was placed in an induced coma with a suspected brain bleed.

    The talented Otamatea Hawks hooker, a triplet, was knocked out after a suspected head clash during the Otamatea v Marist game in Whangarei yesterday.

    The former Auckland Grammar 1st XV player was put in an induced coma by ambulance staff at the ground and taken to Whangarei Hospital. He was then airlifted to Auckland City Hospital.

    He was pronounced dead today, the Northland Rugby Union (NRU) said in a statement.

    The NRU "along with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Rugby Foundation are currently working with all parties to support the family through this tough time.

    This is a tragedy for all concerned, in particular Jordan's immediate whanau and friends," the statement said.

    "The NRU are currently working through the serious injury investigation process and will forward this through the appropriate parties investigating his death.

    "Jordan was a young man with a passion for life and for rugby, he was a great guy from an awesome family and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

    "Counselling for his fellow club members has been arranged. This counselling is also available to anyone who requires it by contacting Greg Shipton at the NRU. All contacts are confidential."

    Jordan Kemp, 17, had been back playing for five weeks after a serious head injury at the start of the season.

    It is understood Kemp was being monitored for a brain bleed.

    He is the grandson of Russell Kemp, a prominent rugby coach and Maori leader from Kaiwaka.

    Otamatea club president Kevin Robinson was at the game and said Kemp went to the ground after the hit but then got to his feet.

    "He fell down but then got up and staggered around before falling over again," Robinson said.

    "He was looked after immediately and the game was called off."

    In February Northland Rugby implemented a "blue-card" system giving referees the ability to order concussed players from the field for a minimum of three weeks.

    Kemp had been blue-carded at the start of the season, had four weeks off and had been cleared five weeks ago.

    Robinson was with Kemp the first time he was knocked out with a knee to the head.

    "That was awful. It was not nice to see," Robinson said. However, he didn't think Kemp was cleared too early and said the teen had made a full recovery.

    "He was being considered for the Northland under-18s, he was doing really well," Robinson said.

    Jordan's coach, former All Black Dean Kenny told 3 News rugby was Jordan's passion.

    "Just last week ... it was raining cats and dogs and he turned up with his bare feet and he was just running around, kicking the ball around, and he just loved the footy."

    After the tackle that resulted in a knee to Jordan's head, he started stumbling about, bumping into players, Kenny said.

    "And then he just collapsed."

    Kenny said there needed to be better systems in place for players who had suffered a concussion.

    "Why don't we have a look at having a hotline and somebody is there all the time for coaches for GPs to phone up and just ask?"

    New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew was concerned to hear of Kemp's injuries.

    "We will get an accident report and respond as we always do but I will try and find out what has happened to him now," Tew said last night.

    Warriors doctor John Mayhew said there was no set stand-down time for head injuries.
    "Some players need a few days, some need three years," he said.

    Mayhew said clinical assessments and neurological tests were needed to assess when a player could return to play.

    "I would hope the people who cleared him to play made the right clinical assessment.

    "Three or four weeks is probably appropriate for most head injuries to recover. But there are exceptions to that."

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  12. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    .
    Thoughts go out to the family.

    Aroha.
     
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  13. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington ABOVE THE LINE

    NRL: Fulton says no to legal action over concussion
    By Ben Horne
    5:30 AM Saturday Jul 12, 2014
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    Liam Fulton.
    Liam Fulton says he could never imagine himself seeking compensation from the NRL over concussion injuries because league has given him everything.

    The 29-year-old Wests Tigers' star became emotional when revealing to teammates on Thursday that he had made the decision to retire due to the spate of head knocks he had received this season.

    Fulton is still suffering short-term memory loss and confusion, symptoms which are of concern to him and his family.

    The good news is he's been told the symptoms are reversible but they might not subside for a couple of years.

    If he played the game again, Fulton said he could risk permanent damage.

    With a young family to look after, he made the decision to call it quits a couple of weeks ago, but went on holiday to Fiji to mull things over before coming back to inform the club with which he played 161 matches and won a premiership in 2005.

    Fulton thanked the NRL and the Tigers for the strict concussion guidelines they've introduced this year, and said he couldn't see himself following in the lead of NFL athletes who had taken legal action against their sport over brain injuries.

    "Rugby league has given me everything, to be honest. It's up there with the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life," said Fulton.

    "It's provided me with all my mates, financially -- it's been my life.

    "I could never imagine myself doing anything like that.

    "What the NRL have done this year with the concussions is a massive step forward for the game.

    "In previous years, it was known as a badge of honour to stay on with concussion.

    "It's a results-driven game but, this year, they've put player welfare first and it's fantastic."

    Fulton suffered four concussions in just six games played this year and paid tribute to Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer for his support, including working for the club in an off-field capacity for the next two years.

    Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.
     
  14. snake77
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    snake77 Warriors 1st Grader

    We will probably see more retirements like this in coming years. Good to see the players health is the number 1 priority.
     
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  15. Dixpat
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    Dixpat 1st Grade Fringe

    Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the new concussion rules following this weekends Broncos v Warriors game.

    I can understand why the NRL want it to be a free interchange [to encourage the player to get off field assistance] but wonder why one gets a free to bring the player back on

    In the game Broncos about 5 minutes into the second half [according to the commentators] had only used one interchange but players had been coming and going like it was Piccadilly Circus.

    If you were a coach and one of your forwards suffered even the slightest knock to the head you would encourage the "water boy" to signal a concussion interchange to give the big man a rest for up to around 20 minutes that seems to be allowed under the rule.

    Even though the lead article infers that there would be severe penalties for a team abusing the process it would be a brave NRL which charged a club for "not putting the welfare of the player first"

    Free for going off, use of an interchange for going back on would be a better balance in my view.
     
  16. tajhay
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    tajhay Same Shit - Different Year

    The free interchange to get back on the field is ONLY if the player satisfies that he is not suffering from concussion WITHIN a 15 min period. The test takes around 8-10 minutes to conduct. After the 15 mins, the team needs to use an interchange.

    more info on it here : Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.

    Personally, i think its fair. Maybe the Broncos flaunted it by making tired players submit to the concussion rule, but personally the welfare of the players need to be at the forefront of things. I would rather some teams flaunt the rules too much than a serious injury occur to anyone, whether it be from our team or another.
     
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  17. matiunz
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    matiunz 1st Grade Fringe

    Unfortunately as with every new rule teams will find a loophole and a way to exploit it to their advantage. Applaud the NRL for trying to look out for its players but the Broncs took advantage on sat.
     
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  18. slaughterhouse.sa
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    slaughterhouse.sa 1st Grade Fringe

    No way would the test take 8-10 mins.
    Broncos wouldnt of had enough doctors to do a 10 min test when they have 5 people suffer from it.

    I bet its a few questions and then judgement call.
     
  19. tajhay
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    tajhay Same Shit - Different Year

     
  20. slaughterhouse.sa
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    slaughterhouse.sa 1st Grade Fringe

    That what they say in the official blurb doesnt equal what exactly would happen.
    Say you have three concussions in a row = how many doctors does a club employ???