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George North Head Injury Highlights Concussion Management Issues

Welsh Winger Allowed To Play On After Two Head Injuries


The head injuries suffered by Welsh rugby player George North have once again highlighted the problems around treatment for such injuries and concussion.

During Wales’ game against England at the Millennium Stadium North appeared to suffer two serious blows to the head. He passed the sport's concussion protocol after the first incident, but his second-half blow was not spotted by medical staff.

Former professionals questioned North being allowed to play on during the game and Peter Robinson, a concussion campaigner whose son died following a head injury on the rugby field, said players are being used as “guinea pigs” and called for a change in the way these injuries are assessed and treated.

Mr Robinson told The Times: "I thought Ben's death was the tipping point when they realised they had to do something, but I don't think anything drastic will happen until there's a tragedy involving a famous star live on TV. We need a culture change."

North will undergo the return-to-play protocol, which will assess the extent of the injury, ahead of Wales’ game with Scotland on Saturday (14 February).

Our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation if you have suffered a serious head or brain injury as the result of an accident. See our Brain & Head Injury Compensation Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
The incident involving George North on Friday evening is yet another high-profile example of the problems of head injuries and concussion, as well as how these issues are identified, assessed and treated.

“Initially, the second head injury was not spotted, but after a number of TV replays medical staff should have assessed the player once again, particularly as he had already suffered a blow to the head earlier in the game.

“While protocols have been improved in rugby and a number of other sports, it is still not yet the case that the issue is being properly managed, even at the highest level.

“Through our work we have seen the damage head injuries and concussion can have on players and it is vital players at all levels are provided with the best possible care immediately and that medical opinion is the deciding factor, rather than a player’s desire to return to the field.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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