first_imgMr Kevin Moran is the Donegal GAA tam doctor.Donegal GAA team doctor Kevin Moran has warned any deviation from the present protocols surrounding the treatment of concussion and suspected concussion could, in extreme circumstances, result in a fatality.Dr Moran was speaking in the context of an investigation into a proposal that came before this year’s congress to introduce a temporary concussion sub rule to Gaelic games.The suggestion was that a player could be removed from play, tested for concussion on the sideline and then returned to action following a negative result to the test. But the motion was strongly rejected by the GAA’s Medical, Scientific and Welfare (MSW) committee, who yesterday outlined exactly why the current procedures must not be altered. The short answer is that there is no test that can be conducted on a sideline which definitively concludes that concussion hasn’t taken place.advertisementCrucially, if a player suffering from concussion is mistakenly allowed to return to action, and suffers a second knock, resulting in Second Impact Syndrome, a fatality could occur.The Irish Examiner reports that so far, there have been no instances of this within Gaelic Games though a number of athletes in other sports have died from Second Impact Syndrome, notably a young rugby player in Northern Ireland in 2011.The MSW report states international best practice is already being adhered to and to deviate from this based on the Congress motion would be a major concern. Dr Moran used the example of a concussion suffered by All-Ireland winning Donegal forward Ryan Bradley, in 2013, to highlight both how difficult it is to be sure a concussion has taken place and how the current protocols are working well. “I am nearly sure it was the (Ulster) semi-final against Down in 2013 and Ryan had two concussions that year,” said Dr Moran. “Anyway, he felt a bit funny and I was the pitch side doctor that day and I went in and he seemed a bit dizzy. While I was talking to him, he jumped up, the ball had been kicked out from the other end, he ran over, caught the ball and turned around and soloed up the field and kicked the ball over the bar, soloed about 30 yards.“Then he went down again. I was on the sideline still so he called me back in. I went back in and he said, ‘look, I can see four, six goalposts, everything is waving all over the place’. I said, ‘Ryan, you’re coming off’. So I was bringing him off and Rory (Gallagher), who is our present manager, asked me politely where was I going with him?!“I said, ‘he’s concussed’. Rory said, ‘how can he be concussed, he’s after doing that?’ I actually, for a finish up, had to put Ryan into hospital that night because that injury did evolve over the subsequent 24 hours.I think that one case is a good example of how difficult it can be to diagnose.”The Congress proposal was, to its credit, based on the belief allowing a substitution to take place may make it more likely for players to come off and get an assessment.Dublin full-back Rory O’Carroll famously remained on the pitch for the last 16 minutes of the 2013 All-Ireland final after suffering concussion because they’d used all their subs. Ironically, the final substitution that day was the withdrawal of Jonny Cooper who’d also taken a heavy knock to the head. Since then, the GAA and O’Carroll himself have been proactive about getting the message out any player showing any of the symptoms of concussion must be removed from play immediately.Dr Moran, who is involved with four different Donegal teams, one of which is a senior club, said he dealt with four separate instances of concussion throughout this year. He believes the message has generally been heeded about the dangers of brain injury.“I do think so, certainly at county level and it’s filtered down to the clubs as well,” he said. “What we couldn’t over emphasise is that for 95% of the cases, where there isn’t a doctor present, then the manager or the coach, whoever takes players off, must do so, particularly underage players where there is a suspicion of concussion because of the risk of Second Impact Syndrome.“Thankfully we haven’t experienced that yet in the GAA. It’s a very rare occurrence but when it does happen it’s devastating because there’s no treatment for it. That’s it. It’s irreversible.” The MSW report also ruled out the introduction of appointing independent team doctors, stressing the “high levels of confidence in the professionalism” of those currently in place.DONEGAL GAA DOCTOR WARNS ABOUT SERIOUSNESS OF TREATING CONCUSSION was last modified: December 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img