Frequent but limited assessment of potentially concussed players in Gaelic Football: an opportunity to learn from other sports

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Sokol-Randell, Darek
Pasquale Rotundo, Mario
Tierney, Gregory
Deasy, Conor
Cusimano, Michael D.
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Background: Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a potential issue within Gaelic Football. Therefore, it is essential that concussion management guidelines are adhered to. Hypothesis/purpose: The aim of this study is to determine if potential concussive events (PCEs) in the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) National Football League (NFL) are assessed in accordance with GAA concussion guidelines and compare this to other sports. Methods: A descriptive video analysis approach was undertaken to identify PCEs throughout two seasons of play. Subsequent assessment, return to play (RTP) decisions, and signs of concussion were evaluated. Results: A total of 242 PCEs were identified over 111 matches. Most PCEs (87.2%, n = 211) were assessed by medical personnel. However, 187 (88.6%) of assessments were under 2 min in duration. Of the 242 PCEs, 189 (78.1%) returned to play after on-pitch assessment, and 12 (5.0%) were removed following a PCE. Sixty-one (25.2%) players sustaining a PCE demonstrated one or more signs of concussion, of which 9 (14.8%) were removed from play. Conclusion: In the GAA NFL, PCEs are often briefly assessed but rarely result in player removal. Introduction of video incident analysis and concussion substitutions, as in other sports, may reduce the long-term burden of SRC on Gaelic Football players.
Gaelic Football , Sport-related concussion , SRC
Sokol-Randell, D., Rotundo, M. P., Tierney, G., Deasy, C. and Cusimano, M. D. (2020) 'Frequent but limited assessment of potentially concussed players in Gaelic Football: an opportunity to learn from other sports', Irish Journal of Medical Science, 190, pp. 787-792. doi: 10.1007/s11845-020-02390-5
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