Dublin hospital records surge in injuries among women rugby players
St Vincent’s Hospital reported a 243% rise in injured women rugby players over 10 year period
Ireland’s Alison Miller in action against Japan in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup at the UCD Bowl, Dublin. Photograph: Donall Farmer/PA Wire
The number of women rugby players being treated for game related injures has soared at the emergency department of a major Dublin hospital.
In a study published in the October edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), medics at St Vincent’s Hospital in south Dublin reported a 243 per cent increase in injured women rugby players presenting at the hospital’s emergency unit over a 10 year period.
The authors of the paper also warn of the dangers of the increased numbers of women rugby players being treated for concussion at the hospital.
As the popularity of the women’s game has increased exponentially, the medics report that from July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018, the number of women rugby players attending the emergency department after sustaining rugby related injuries totalled 144.
This compared to only 42 presentations by injured women rugby players between July 2007 and June 2008.
The medics state: “Despite the rapid expansion in playing numbers the sport continues to lag behind its men’s counterpart in terms of medical research.”
The figures for 2017/18 show 72.9 per cent of players were injured playing rugby union with 25.7 per cent injured while playing tag rugby and 1.4 per cent injured while playing rugby sevens.
The report states that there were increases in high impact injuries such as dislocations, wounds and concussions.
Fifteen of the 144 players during 2017/18 were treated for concussion compared to just one in the corresponding earlier period.
In the study entitled “A Temporal Comparative Study of Women’s Rugby Injuries Presenting to an Emergency Department”, the medics state: “We have seen a rise in significant injuries including concussion. This will be a growing problem going forward as women’s rugby continues to develop in Ireland.”