Sport GAA

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Medical expert wants more education on concussion

Dr Kevin Moran, team doctor with the Irish International Rules team in Australia, watches training. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Dr Kevin Moran, team doctor with the Irish International Rules team in Australia, watches training. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Martin Breheny in Perth

If in doubt, get them out.

A leading medical expert has called on all those in charge of teams to take no chances with players who may have been concussed after a clash.

Dr Kevin Moran, team doctor with the Irish International Rules team in Australia, is adamant there should be no equivocation when it comes to concussion.

"You take them off on suspicion, even if that means a certain number are taken off who aren't concussed," said Dr Moran, who is also a member of the GAA's Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee.

"If you take them off on suspicion, they stay off."

Dealing with concussion has shot up the priority list in all sports in recent times, but according to Dr Moran, there is still a lot to done.

"Only about five per cent of our (GAA) games have a doctor present. So we've 95 per cent of games where there's no medical or trained professional.

Education

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"Our main thrust has to be education, making everyone aware," he said.

The risks of not dealing properly with concussion is greater at club than county level, which is another area of concern.

"If there isn't a doctor or somebody forceful involved at games at local level, there's a risk that someone will want the player to get up and try to run it off," said Dr Moran.

Interestingly, he believes that modern-day Gaelic football, with its increasingly defensive set-up, reduces the risk of concussion.

"One of the things that might have protected us in the last number of years is the blanket defence because the impacts, even though they could be significant, weren't high-velocity. Fellas just don't get the room to build up momentum," he said.

Dr Moran would like to see every club have a welfare officer where the duties would include keeping a concussion log on players.

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