Headway aims to raise awareness of the dangers of head injuries in sport
A brain injury charity has urged rugby players to tell medical staff if they are feeling dizzy or nauseous after suffering a head injury on the field.
Headway, which provides support for brain injury survivors and campaigns to raise awareness of head injuries, has issued the warning in response to comments from Wales and Ospreys fly-half, Dan Biggar.
Biggar told Sky Sports reporters after a game between Ospreys and Leinster that he couldn’t “remember much of the last 10 minutes” as he “was a little bit dazed”. He had been taken off the field during the game following a head collision, but passed assessment from medical staff and later returned to play.
Headway’s chief executive, Peter McCabe, said that “players must take some responsibility by being honest with medical staff and admitting to feeling dizzy, nauseous or dazed, for example.”
The charity launched the ‘#ConcussionAware’ campaign in 2016 to raise awareness of the dangers of head injury in sport, following estimates that someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds. The campaign advises all sports players follow the phrase ‘if in doubt, sit it out’, instead of playing on and risking further injury.
Brain injury prevention has been a talking point in various sports, with recent research finding a link between repeatedly heading a football and dementia later in life. And earlier this year, the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) introduced a handheld scanner that detects bleeding on the brain, with the aim of providing improved care for boxers.
Paul Rosser, a serious injury solicitors at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “With greater awareness about the risks of brain injuries in sport, and a marked increase in safety protocols, it’s a shame if professional players don’t sit it out if they are in any doubt.
“While people should not be dissuaded from taking up sports, they must understand the risks and what precautions they should take to protect their health. At Thompsons we’ve seen head injury victims reliant on care and unable to work for the rest of their lives and anything that can be done to limit that risk should be respected and enforced rigidly.”
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