Injury Worksafe investigating AFL on concussion

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Jezzitizle

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Aug 17, 2009
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Think it’s significant from a couple of points covered in the article, but the one that surprised me is that allegedly there have been 20 known cases where players have retired over the last 4 years under the age of 25 due to concussion.

There is a suggestion in the article that players shouldn’t play for at least 30 days after receiving a concussion diagnosis.

For the who haven’t heard it there is an excellent interview on the Howie Games podcast with Nat Fyfe and he goes into real detail on his experiences with concussion, which has been significant - ep 97.

Interested to hear if anyone here has experienced concussion from sport and what effects they may have had.
 

WCE_phil

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Think it’s significant from a couple of points covered in the article, but the one that surprised me is that allegedly there have been 20 known cases where players have retired over the last 4 years under the age of 25 due to concussion.

There is a suggestion in the article that players shouldn’t play for at least 30 days after receiving a concussion diagnosis.

For the who haven’t heard it there is an excellent interview on the Howie Games podcast with Nat Fyfe and he goes into real detail on his experiences with concussion, which has been significant - ep 97.

Interested to hear if anyone here has experienced concussion from sport and what effects they may have had.
I haven't read the article and am only mentioning my experiences with concussion. I experienced a few concussions as a junior due to dirtbike accidents and sport however later on as an adult whilst in the military I had my drink spiked, collapsed, hit my head on concrete and had a major seizure (for the first time).

From that point forward after an honourable discharge I have had seizures resulting in falls and concussions roughly once every 2 years. I believe it has not only affected my overall mental state in regards to anxiety and depression at stages but the larger part of the issue, particularly in the case of a couple of really rough ones is that it has taken up to a year to mentally feel as though i am fully recovered.

I would suggest i have had at least 10 minor concussions and at least 5 major concussions with the longest hospitalised period being 1 week. I take medication every day and while i have never been into illicit drugs i no longer drink or smoke either to improve overall health and lower the chances of further seizures.

I also obviously no longer play contact sports but with my concussion experiences I can say that a 30 day minimum of not playing (while it would potentially destroy seasons of teams and players i love and support) is not without merit.
 

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RobbieK

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These things sh*t me, the AFL does its best with the knowledge it has at the time, how are they (and any sport) supposed to constantly be projecting where medical knowledge will be in the future.
It is reasonable to ask if the AFL did actually do its best with the knowledge of the time.

It is also clear that knowledge about the impacts of concussions has developed a lot in the last few decades. The AFL has changed policies in response to that, but it remains to be seen if those changes are enough.

The majority of the article quoted by the OP focuses on the current state of concussion rules in the AFL and whether changes need to be made to make those rules more rigorous going in to the 2021 season, so it isn't about blaming the AFL for things that happened in the past as much as it is about ensuring the AFL is behaving responsibly in the present.
 

Topkent

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It is reasonable to ask if the AFL did actually do its best with the knowledge of the time.

It is also clear that knowledge about the impacts of concussions has developed a lot in the last few decades. The AFL has changed policies in response to that, but it remains to be seen if those changes are enough.

The majority of the article quoted by the OP focuses on the current state of concussion rules in the AFL and whether changes need to be made to make those rules more rigorous going in to the 2021 season, so it isn't about blaming the AFL for things that happened in the past as much as it is about ensuring the AFL is behaving responsibly in the present.
Is it reasonable for the AFL to be at the forefront of medical knowledge when not all doctors can agree with concussion protocols
 

RobbieK

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Is it reasonable for the AFL to be at the forefront of medical knowledge when not all doctors can agree with concussion protocols
There are consensus positions on what are appropriate treatments and exclusion times for players suffering concussions. That these change as more research is done just means that the AFL needs to change its policies as we learn more, not that it gets put in the too hard basket. It is definitely reasonable for the AFL to have policies in place which reflect the current medical consensus, it has a duty of care to the players.
 

Topkent

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There are consensus positions on what are appropriate treatments and exclusion times for players suffering concussions. That these change as more research is done just means that the AFL needs to change its policies as we learn more, not that it gets put in the too hard basket. It is definitely reasonable for the AFL to have policies in place which reflect the current medical consensus, it has a duty of care to the players.
There's no medical consensus on what you need to recover from a concussion. You could argue one concussion should be the end of a players career as anything more is dangerous and negligent.
 

RobbieK

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There's no medical consensus on what you need to recover from a concussion. You could argue one concussion should be the end of a players career as anything more is dangerous and negligent.
The next International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport is due to happen in Paris next year.

"The purpose of the Conference is twofold. The first objective is to present a summary of new evidence-based summaries that span the spectrum of concussion, from definition to initial management, investigations, treatment, return to play protocols and prevention. An expert panel group will review the research and develop the consensus from the information presented at the meeting.

With the facts presented by the world’s experts and researchers in concussion in sport, the second objective is to reach an agreement amongst the expert panel on developing a Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. This document will then be used by physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the care of injured athletes at the recreational, elite or professional level."


These conferences have been happening since 2001. The last conference was in Berlin in 2016. You can read that conferences Consensus Statement here:


So... yes, there is a consensus, one that is continually updated with the latest research.
 

queensberryrules

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The next International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport is due to happen in Paris next year.

"The purpose of the Conference is twofold. The first objective is to present a summary of new evidence-based summaries that span the spectrum of concussion, from definition to initial management, investigations, treatment, return to play protocols and prevention. An expert panel group will review the research and develop the consensus from the information presented at the meeting.

With the facts presented by the world’s experts and researchers in concussion in sport, the second objective is to reach an agreement amongst the expert panel on developing a Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. This document will then be used by physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the care of injured athletes at the recreational, elite or professional level."


These conferences have been happening since 2001. The last conference was in Berlin in 2016. You can read that conferences Consensus Statement here:


So... yes, there is a consensus, one that is continually updated with the latest research.
Ouch that has metaphorically knocked SOMEONE out. Will they be back in 30 days?
 

Kwality

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There are consensus positions on what are appropriate treatments and exclusion times for players suffering concussions. That these change as more research is done just means that the AFL needs to change its policies as we learn more, not that it gets put in the too hard basket. It is definitely reasonable for the AFL to have policies in place which reflect the current medical consensus, it has a duty of care to the players.
This consensus you refer to, got a link to that consensus?
 

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Milanista28

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I’m no doctor but from everything I read it’s all heading in one direction.

Might be a few years away but don’t think it’ll be long before a concussed player has to sit out a month or so.
Imagine Dusty being concussed in the 1st final meaning he needs to sit out the remainder of the final series, pretty crazy.
 
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powerrrrrrrrrrrr

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Are they going to investigate boxing? What about MMA or any other sport that involves constant blows to the head with the aim of k/o’ing your opposition?

The AFL have put plenty of measures in to reduce the effect or likeliness of serious concussions occurring. It is a contact sport and players need to take personal responsibility for engaging in the sport and acknowledge the possibility of injuries resulting from genuine in game play. It would be different if a goal post fell on a players head or sprinkler in the ground, but concussion due to two players colliding is reasonably expected to occur during a contact sport.

Perhaps in order for the afl to protect itself, it will need to become a part of player contracts that they accept the possibility that a concussion will occur as part of playing.
 

RobbieK

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This consensus you refer to, got a link to that consensus?
I already did, a couple of posts before your request.


The next International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport is due to happen in Paris next year.

"The purpose of the Conference is twofold. The first objective is to present a summary of new evidence-based summaries that span the spectrum of concussion, from definition to initial management, investigations, treatment, return to play protocols and prevention. An expert panel group will review the research and develop the consensus from the information presented at the meeting.

With the facts presented by the world’s experts and researchers in concussion in sport, the second objective is to reach an agreement amongst the expert panel on developing a Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. This document will then be used by physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the care of injured athletes at the recreational, elite or professional level."


These conferences have been happening since 2001. The last conference was in Berlin in 2016. You can read that conferences Consensus Statement here:


So... yes, there is a consensus, one that is continually updated with the latest research.
 

RobbieK

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I was looking for local consensus*, that will drive change locally imho. To me its the US litigation that will drive action internationally.

* my mistake for not clarifying my post.

The current position statement for Australia is here: https://www.concussioninsport.gov.a...y_2019_-_Concussion_Position_Statement_AC.pdf

I would point out that the very first thing discussed in the initial literature review of that document is a direct reference to the fact that the series of international consensus conferences I drew attention to in my earlier post have been the means of coming to a consensus on definitions, understanding and appropriate treatment, and is then referred to frequently thereafter. The Concussion Recognition Tool that is recommended for assessing injured players is the same one that was developed at the last conference. That suggests you aren't going to find too much dissenting opinion between our local approach and the international approach.

Indeed, on page 20, under "Management", it is stated that "There is broad agreement regarding key principles of concussion management policies by organisations, including the Concussion in Sport Group[the international conference that I first mentioned], American Academy of Neurology, Centre for Disease Control and sporting organisations."

So, all in all I feel pretty comfortable stating there is an international consensus and the local consensus follows that international consensus.
 
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Laphroaig

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These things sh*t me, the AFL does its best with the knowledge it has at the time, how are they (and any sport) supposed to constantly be projecting where medical knowledge will be in the future.
The AFL has never done its best with the knowledge available on anything.
It does its best to make it look like it's doing it's best.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Are they going to investigate boxing? What about MMA or any other sport that involves constant blows to the head with the aim of k/o’ing your opposition?
Probably.

Different measures though. If you’re KOed in the boxing ring the mandatory time out is between 30 and 360 days, depending on severity and repeat incidents.

That’s time out of boxing and sparring. Contact training, basically.

 

Sherrinator

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The end of the line for this is that all contact sports will need to either drastically change their rules to be contact free, or fold.
 

RobbieK

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The end of the line for this is that all contact sports will need to either drastically change their rules to be contact free, or fold.
I'm sure changes will happen to continue to better protect players from head injuries, but I don't think we are going to lose contact sports, just sporting organisations being forced in to providing more funding for the long term health care of their participants.
 

Kappa

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I'm not sure there is a test able to determine when it is safe to return and any number put on that would be arbitrary that gives an illusion of safety for liability purposes.
We don't know an exact number, but we know that 2 weeks off is a lot safer than playing again in 6 days
 

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