Parslow calls for now con­cus­sion pro­to­cols as he opts to re­tire

Gloucestershire Echo - - BROING IT ON -

FOR­MER Chel­tenham Town de­fender Daniel Parslow says con­cus­sion pro­to­col must change to avoid play­ers’ safety be­ing put at risk.

The 33-year-old missed the last three months of the 2018/19 sea­son af­ter suf­fer­ing a blow to the side of his head in ac­tion for York City against Here­ford in Na­tional League North on Fe­bru­ary 5 and he an­nounced his re­tire­ment from foot­ball on Mon­day.

“It looked in­nocu­ous at the time, but it turned out to be a hell of a lot more se­ri­ous than that,” Parslow said.

“I had the bump and the physio came on and asked me my name and the score.

“I was al­lowed to go back on, but some­thing was se­ri­ously wrong.

“My bal­ance was go­ing and I was see­ing dou­ble and I stag­gered down the tun­nel at half-time.”

Parslow was seen by York’s physio and taken to the bed at the back of the chang­ing room, where the doc­tor told him he had de­layed on­set con­cus­sion.

“I had a se­vere headache and I felt sick, so I slowly show­ered and changed and the doc­tor told me not to drive, so my wife picked me up,” he said.

Parslow was ad­vised to rest, eat and sleep well and avoid watch­ing tele­vi­sion.

“My wife said I looked ter­ri­ble so we de­cided to go to A&E,” he said. “I saw a doc­tor who re­it­er­ated what the club doc­tor said and that there was no bleed on the brain, so he sent me on my way.

“But I then had a tough few days. I had chronic headaches and light hurt, so all I could do re­ally was lie down and shut my eyes in a dark room, it was hor­ren­dous.

“I couldn’t move and I had strong mi­graines.”

The club doc­tor ad­vised Parslow to have a scan to rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of a ‘slow bleed’ on the brain.

“I went to my GP at the lo­cal prac­tice and the symp­toms were so strong I had a CT scan at York Hospi­tal, which con­firmed there was no bleed,” he said.

“I felt a bit bet­ter, but the headaches were still there. I went to a neu­ro­sur­geon in Birm­ing­ham and un­der­went cog­ni­tive tests, which came back okay, but the doc­tors didn’t have a base­line test to com­pare my re­sults to.

“I was a way away from re­turn­ing to play and with six weeks of the sea­son left, I was ruled out for the sea­son.”

Parslow be­lieves new pro­ce­dures must be im­ple­mented.

“I know clubs have dif­fer­ent finances, but play­ers’ health needs to come first,” he said. “Medics are of­ten stab­bing in the dark so in my view those base­line cog­ni­tive tests should be im­ple­mented.

“Foot­ballers have a cou­ple of min­utes with a physio run­ning on and it’s not enough and in my case the symp­toms came on later.

“You need to be ex­am­ined by an ex­pert and it’s hard be­cause fans start to get rest­less when the game stops and of­ten they as­sume you are feign­ing in­jury.

“A tem­po­rary con­cus­sion sub would be a huge step for­ward.

“Sev­eral months down the line and I am still suf­fer­ing and it’s po­ten­tially ham­per­ing ca­reers, so risks can’t be taken.

“I was told if I’d re­turned to play­ing last sea­son and taken a sec­ond knock it could have been fa­tal.”

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