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Professionals must adopt diagnostic guidelines: Aspetar

Professionals must adopt diagnostic guidelines: Aspetar


Tribune News Network
Doha
ASPETAR, the orthopaedic sports medicine hospital in Qatar, has urged healthcare professionals to adopt stronger guideline implementations to effectively diagnosis concussion injuries during play, particularly for incidents involving footballers at the world's biggest sporting tournament currently taking place in Russia.
A number of widely reported clashes between players in recent games have sharpened a focus on the issue, prompting debate and discussion between pundits and commentators around the world.
The implementation of stronger guidelines would also help minimise the risk of long-term damage to players following head injuries.
Speaking about the topic, Dr Louis Holtzhausen, a Sports Medicine Physician at Aspetar with more than 25 years of experience treating players in athletics, rugby, cricket, hockey and the South African Olympic team, said:"It can be very difficult sometimes to spot a suspected concussion, particularly in the heat of the moment. Sometimes there can be obvious symptoms such as headache, vomiting or loss of consciousness or loss of memory, it can be much easier to spot and the player himself might sometimes ask for medical assistance. On the other hand, there are subtle symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose such as loss of balance or disorientation."
He continued:"It's important to realise that subtle neurological changes can make a very big difference in performance, especially on the elite level, and it could be the difference between winning or losing."
"The solution for this difficult problem stars with education at different levels, first of all at the executive level with the decision-makers in sport. They must understand what the medical and sports consequences of concussion can be."
"Then there needs to be an educational awareness on the operational level for coaches and referees. Any manager or coach has the right to know that his star player might not be able to perform at his best when he's concussed. Players must also be educated."
"Then after education, the contingency plan should be made on how to manage suspected concussion in any given sport. Sport like rugby are leading the way and making extensive use of video coverage with independent match day doctors and concussion evaluation."
He concluded:"Here at Aspetar, we go to a lot of trouble to educate as many as possible, very often through workshops, we also provide guidance and support for doctors who need advice on concussion management."
Aspetar's advanced protocol helps identify and treat concussion injuries in sports, on and off the field, and equips healthcare providers and team doctors to play an essential role in protecting athletes, since concussion signs are not always easily identifiable. It is specifically designed to only allow safe return to play under universally accepted guidelines.

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