Re­mov­ing hel­mets may not be the an­swer

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby - Com­piled by Gavin Cum­miskey

“We know no other coun­try in the world as in­ter­ested in con­cus­sion man­age­ment,” pro­claimed Chuck Bo­gosta, pres­i­dent of UMPC in­ter­na­tional, the lead­ing brain in­jury treat­ment fa­cil­ity based in Pitts­burgh, at the open­ing of the na­tional con­cus­sion sym­po­sium in Croke Park on Satur­day.

The IRFU did not at­tend. What­ever the rea­son, it feels like an op­por­tu­nity missed to hear and dis­cuss ad­vance­ments in the treat­ment of con­cus­sive blows.

On the ques­tion of re­mov­ing hel­mets from NFL heads as a means of dra­mat­i­cally re­duc­ing con­cus­sions, the key note speaker Dr Micky Collins, who has worked with the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers, replied: “I don’t know if it would help or not be­cause we are kind of talk­ing about rugby in that sit­u­a­tion. If we com­pare rugby and [Amer­i­can] Foot­ball we may have fewer in­stances [of con­cus­sion] in rugby but they may be more se­vere. Tak­ing the hel­met off the player would it pro­tect them from us­ing their head as a weapon? No ques­tion, we see that all the time but there could be un­in­tended con­se­quences and I am sure there would be. I think it is a lit­tle ex­treme un­til we have bet­ter an­swers.”

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