The following are minimum issues that should be included when developing an annual concussion education program for players, coaches and team management:
- What is concussion?
- What are the common symptoms and signs?
- How is a concussion managed?
- What is a graduated return to play?
- What is a Head Injury Assessment (HIA)?
- How to treat concussion – what is meant by rest?
- Protect yourself, protect your team mate?
- What is new in concussion?
- Video interpretation (coaches only)
World Rugby has developed an education presentation appropriate for players, coaches and team management that is appropriate for Unions to deliver as their pre-tournament education session.
Risk Stratification – Example
When developing a concussion risk stratification system for players the following factors may be considered as part of the concussion risk stratification:
- Players over the age of 30
- Players under the age of 18
- Players with a two or more concussions within the preceding 12 months
- Players with a history of multiple concussion
- Players with a history of multiple concussion with each subsequent concussion occurring with less force.
- Players with unusual presentations or prolonged recovery
When undertaking a concussion risk stratification, medical staff are advised to consider all potential risk factors that may identify a high-risk athlete for both a concussion and a slow recovery.
Advanced Level of Concussion Care
The highest level of concussion care is supplied in an advanced care setting that would include at least each of the following:
- medical doctors with training and experience in recognising and managing concussion and suspected concussion; and
- access to brain imaging facilities and neuroradiologists; and
- access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists including neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, neurocognitive testing, balance and vestibular rehabilitation therapists.
An Advanced Level of Concussion Care are generally available within Professional Rugby teams and allow for a more individualized management of concussion.