Combat sports always carry a risk, warns doctor
Tragic outcomes can happen in one-to-one combat sports even when the best medical expertise and equipment are available ringside, emergency consultant Dr Mick Molloy said yesterday.
Dr Molloy, a former boxer who continues to officiate at some matches, said he did not know the extent of medical back-up at the MMA event at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
"In any of these kind of sports there is always a risk. You could have the best doctors sitting outside the ring but from time to time there are unfortunate consequences."
Dr Molloy, who works in the Bon Secours Hospital Tralee and Wexford General Hospital, said the fact there was no governing body overseeing MMA meant there were no comprehensive guidelines on the type and extent of doctors who should be present.
It was important that there would be an emergency consultant or anaesthetist present, he added.
"Without a governing body it is left up to the discretion of the organiser," he explained. "In boxing there are strict requirements," he added. As well as specialists there needs to be paramedics present also.
Dr Molloy said: "Having spoken to a number of boxers in my time they understand the risks every time they go to fight or go training. People can come into a fight with an injury as well.
"Several sports just require a doctor to be present but boxing states they need to have a higher level of training."
Dr Molloy is an NUI candidate in the Seanad election.