'Concussion protocols not followed during FIFA World Cup'
Assessment protocols for head collisions experienced by players during the 2014 football World Cup were not followed in more than 60 per cent of the cases, a study has found.
Researchers from St Michael's Hospital in Canada found that during 64 games, 61 players had 81 head collisions in 72 separate events.
Health care personnel assessed the player in 12 cases (15 per cent), 45 players (56 per cent) received assessment from another player, referee, or personnel on the field, and 21 players (26 per cent) received no assessment.
Of the 67 occasions in which players manifested two or more signs of concussion, 16 per cent received no assessment and returned to play immediately.
Among players with three or more concussion signs, 86 per cent returned to play during the same game after an average assessment duration of 84 seconds.
"Soccer players presenting signs of concussion following a head collision event deserve assessment from independent health care personnel to avoid delay of care or further injury. Assessment and management of soccer players suspected of concussion should be improved," said Michael Cusimano from St Michael's Hospital.
Researchers examined the incidence, characteristics, and assessment of head collision events during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Trained reviewers identified head collisions through observation of video footage of all 64 matches of the
Any event involving head contact in which a player did not continue playing immediately afterward was defined as a head collision event, researchers said.
Observable effects of the collision on the player (slow to get up, disoriented, obvious disequilibrium, unconsciousness, seizure-like movements, head clutching) were documented as potential signs of concussion.
The study was published in the journal JAMA.