FA Introduces New Rules for Head Injuries

After numerous calls for change regarding the rules for head injuries in football, The FA and The Premier League have now announced new guidelines for the management of concussion and head injuries from the start of the 2014/15 season.

The new rules have been devised to prevent players from returning to the field after a ‘confirmed or suspected loss of consciousness’.  Where a head injury occurs but no concussion is apparent, an on field or touchline assessment must be carried out before the player is allowed to return.

Other changes under the new guidelines include:

  • Tunnel doctors made mandatory for all league games
  • All Premier League staff to carry a Concussion Recognition Tool
  • All players to undergo baseline cognitive testing every season
  • Any player who has suffered two or more episodes to go through mandatory detailed psychometric testing
  • Decision of team doctor is final
  • Required member of a medical team to look after any player who has left the field due to head injury
  • Awareness campaign, presentation and educational film to be made available to players ahead of each new season.

The changes have been welcomed after a number of incidents occurred during last season and the World Cup, where players were allowed to continue participating the game despite appearing to have been concussed.

England teammates Steven Gerrard, Leighton Baines, and Rickie Lambert have shown their support for the campaign by appearing in an FA educational video, produced to raise awareness amongst other players and fans.

Discussing the dangers of playing with a potential head injury, Dr Ian Beasley, chair of the FA’s medical committee, said: “Managers, players and clubs need to understand the risks associated with head injuries.

“The advice of medical professionals is key in this area, and while we have developed processes to deal with many types of injury this is an area that has perhaps needed some more scrutiny.

“We have worked closely with the stakeholders to develop these new guidelines and the message is clear for players; ‘listen to medical advice and take no chances, stop playing and take your time to recover’.”

Mike Foster, director of football for the Premier League, said: “The Premier League clubs have adopted a number of recommendations from this group.

“One of these is to make it absolutely abundantly clear that in situations where a head injury is suffered the decision of the doctor is not only paramount, it is final.”

Head and brain injuries can leave you with a range of physical problems including, balance impairment, cognitive problems such as memory loss and even problems with speech and movement.

If you believe you have sustained a head or brain injury because of an accident that wasn’t your fault then you may be able to make a claim. If you would like to speak with a member of our team to discuss you injury and see if you can make a claim then please give us a call on: 0161 904 4660

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