Europe Starts Its Concussion Debate

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Encouraged by their colleagues in the US, European medical experts are calling for a revision of the rules in various sports to protect players and athletes from the dangers of concussions. Recently, in England’s soccer league, Tottenham’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was allowed to continue to play after a heavy blow in the head that left him unconscious for a few minutes. After the game, it was confirmed that he had suffered an obvious concussion, which may have resulted in a more serious injury. Neither the referee, nor his coach or the medical staff intervened and stopped him from playing.

concussion

(Image courtesy of tottenhamhotspur.com)

“Concussions continue to be a topic that many coaches and team executives around the globe prefer to overlook for the sake of their own selfish desires to win at any cost. When a player injures the shoulder or knee badly enough, the pain and instability stops the player from returning to the game. When a brain injury occurs, the player can fake his or her way back, or be coerced into returning when it is unsafe. We can fix the injured shoulder or knee. We cannot fix the injured brain yet.”, said Manhattan Orthopedic Care’s board-certified orthopedic surgeon Armin M. Tehrany, MD, FAAOS.

Both soccer and rugby (played without helmets) leagues are raising concerns about players’ safety, but there is a need for a stronger debate, driven by the concerns from the US and its popular NFL league. In the NFL, according to the Frontline’s Concussion Watch, there were 147 concussions in 2013, or average of 10 per week.

“Given what’s happened in the U.S.A., this has the potential for dramatic impact here,” said Bryant, an amateur rugby player, for the New York Times.