Aspetar raises awareness on concussion

May 7, 2022

Aspetar, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital has highlighted the crucial things to know on treating concussion.

“The first thing to do if concussion is suspected is to take a player off the field. FIFA and other football authorities have made it easier to do so, by allowing three minutes to make sure that a player is concussed, and in certain competitions to allow a concussed player to be replaced,” said Dr. Cristiano Eirale, a Sport Medicine Physician at Aspetar.

In a video, he is seen talking to Paris Sain Germain (PSG) and Argentinian professional footballer Mauro Icardi. This is part of a series of videos that Aspetar and PSG launched to discuss concussion.

“The doctor will then do a full examination to see if there is a need for a brain scan or other tests. The medical staff will observe you for a few hours and decide if you can go home to rest, or if it is better to get you to hospital. You will be checked a few times in the next 24 to 48 hours. As soon as you feel better, rehabilitation and a graduated return to play protocol will be followed to get you back to play safely,” Dr. Eirale said.

Aspetar Sports Medicine Physician Dr. Louis Holtzhausen said: “The most important emergency treatment for concussion is to stop playing immediately, even if you think it is not necessary.

“A concussion is made much more serious if a player stays on the field. The signs of concussion are often subtle and easy for a committed player to ignore. You have to trust your team doctor to act in your best interest, and also in the best interest of the team.”

Moreover, he discussed that a brain scan is sometimes needed to see if there are life-threatening problems such as brain bleeding. He stressed that a normal scan does not mean that there is no concussion.

“No scan or blood test can diagnose concussion, so doctors rely on clinical tests, special memory and concentration tests, balance tests and eye coordination tests.

Any abnormalities can then be treated. To test your readiness for training, we can also do an exercise tolerance test,” Dr. Holtzhausen concluded.

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