IRFU revamp concussion protocols in line with 2016 Berlin conference
Players now advised to resume normal activities after 24-48 hours of complete rest
The IRFU have revamped its concusssion protocols in line with the fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
The IRFU has revamped its concussion protocols for players, coaches, parents and volunteers, adopting the findings from the fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport that took place in October, 2016 in Berlin.
Previous best practice was that players who have suffered a suspected or confirmed concussion were advised to rest from all activity for 14 or 15 days. The Berlin conference findings are that after a 24-48 hour period of complete rest, players should return to normal every day activities and non-sport related light exercise as long as it does exacerbate the symptoms.
The IRFU’s graduated return to play protocol (GRTPs) durations of 23 days for players under 20 years of age and 21 days for players over 20 years of age remain the same.
Mairead Liston, IRFU Medical Department Coordinator, explained: “The Berlin guidelines have shown that it is important to return to normal, non-contact activity as soon as possible after a suspected concussion whereas total rest can in fact exacerbate symptoms. This is not about rushing back into sporting activity but about doing normal activities and light exercise in order to aid recovery.”