Parslow calls for now concussion protocols as he opts to retire
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.”