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Response To Sandro Head Injury Welcomed

Charity Backs Actions Of Premier League Team


Headway has welcomed the way Queens Park Rangers removed midfielder Sandro after his concussion incident in a Premier League game.

The player took a blow to the head after just 11 minutes of a recent game against Southampton and required treatment from the club's medical staff.

Rather than take a risk, they immediately withdrew the player from the field of play, obliging manager Harry Redknapp to make a substitution.

Commenting on the response of the medical staff, director of communications at Headway Luke Griggs said: "Head injuries are not like other sports injuries; concussion is an evolving injury and the symptoms may take time to manifest.

"Damage such as bleeding or swelling to the brain may not be immediately obvious, while continuing to play after suffering a concussion can make you more susceptible to further, more damaging, injury."

Speaking after the match, Redknapp said Sandro had appeared to be fine in the dressing room at half-time and said football's authorities should consider the introduction of "temporary" substitutions who could take a player's place while he was properly assessed for concussion - enabling them to return to the action if the blow is not too serious.

However, Mr Griggs disagreed, saying the assessment time in a "non-clinical environment" is still "very limited".

He warned that if teams take a chance with a head injury, "the consequences can be fatal" and said a "safety first" approach is always best, particularly in grassroots football where qualified medical experts are not usually present.

The approach taken in a number of sports is becoming increasingly cautious, with some players taking a substantial break from playing due to repeated injuries.
A case in point is that of rugby union star Geoff Parling, who plays for Leicester Tigers and England.

He has been ruled out of England's four international matches in November after suffering a series of concussions, which has led to him being rested from both club and country duties.

Rather than expose him to any risk, he is being given time to recuperate before returning to light training. This is expected to enable any damage to clear up so that he can then safely return to action in December.

Expert Opinion
The issues of head injuries and concussion in sport have been in the spotlight recently and the incident in the Premier League last weekend involving Sando was the first situation where the new rules implemented this season were seen in action. Removing players who have suffered serious head injuries from the game is a positive step, as it ensures they get the treatment they require quickly, rather than playing on with concussion until the end of the game, which can lead to further injury and more serious consequences.

“This incident highlights that head injuries in football are now being taken seriously, which is a very positive step. It is vital these regulations continue to be enforced in professional sport and begin to be implemented at lower levels, to protect all players from the devastating and life-changing consequences a serious head injury can have if not treated correctly.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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