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Concussion trial labelled “irresponsible”

A leading American neurosurgeon has labelled the International Rugby Board’s implementation of the Pitchside Suspected Concussion Assessment (PSCA) protocol as “irresponsible”.

The sport’s governing body introduced the PSCA last year as part of its bid to improve player welfare and recently extended the trial for another year – with some key changes – despite widespread concern that they were endangering those that play the game and reported links to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – a degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions.

The test sees players who have suffered a suspected concussion leave the field for five minutes while the doctors determine whether they are fit enough to return to the pitch by asking the player a series of questions. If the player is suspected of having concussion he is not allowed to return to the game. Previously medics were forced to assess suspected concussion on the field with only players with blood injuries allowed to leave the field of play.

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