Doc­tors granted more time for saliva col­lec­tion

The Rugby Paper - - National League 1 -

WORLD Rugby have ap­proved an op­tional ad­di­tional pe­riod of up to three min­utes to be added to the HIA process in Premier­ship and Cham­pi­onship matches.

This means the HIA pe­riod can run from a min­i­mum of ten min­utes to a max­i­mum of 13 min­utes to op­ti­mise col­lec­tion of in-game saliva sam­ples.

The sam­ples are be­ing col­lected for the study led by the Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham, as part of its work to de­velop an ob­jec­tive pitch-side test to di­ag­nose con­cus­sion.

Dur­ing a match, a player who un­der­goes an HIA1 as­sess­ment pro­vides a 2ml saliva sam­ple while they are off the field.

Play­ers also pro­vide fol­low-up saliva and urine sam­ples as they go through sub­se­quent steps of the HIA pro­to­col and, if they are di­ag­nosed with con­cus­sion, dur­ing the re­turn to play pro­to­col.

These post-in­jury sam­ples are com­pared to base­line mea­sures, plus those from play­ers from the same game who did not suffer any in­jury and those who had other in­juries.

Dr Si­mon Kemp, RFU chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, said: “Player re­cruit­ment for this study has been ex­cel­lent and sam­ples are steadily com­ing in from the first five rounds of matches.

“How­ever, we recog­nise this study is tak­ing place in a live-match en­vi­ron­ment and that it can take some play­ers longer to pro­duce the saliva sam­ple re­quired.

“As a re­sult we ap­plied to World Rugby for an ad­di­tional three min­utes for the HIA1 as­sess­ment, if re­quired, to en­sure suf­fi­cient time for sam­ples to be col­lected.”

Premier­ship Rugby’s head of elite per­for­mance and player de­vel­op­ment Corin Palmer said: “This is an im­por­tant and po­ten­tially im­pact­ful study which has the full sup­port of our clubs.

“Premier­ship Rugby and our clubs wel­come the flex­i­bil­ity shown in pro­vid­ing an op­tional pe­riod of time to en­sure the ac­cu­rate com­ple­tion of the saliva sam­ples along­side the HIA.”

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