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Recommendations for the improvement of safety and health of athletes who may suffer concussive injuries
In November 2001, the first International Symposium on Concussion in Sport was held in Vienna, Austria. This symposium was organised by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the Federation Internationale de Football Association Medical Assessment and Research Centre (FIFA, F-MARC), and the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission (IOC).
The aim of the symposium was to provide recommendations for the improvement of safety and health of athletes who suffer concussive injuries in ice hockey, football (soccer), and other sports. To this end a range of experts were invited to address specific issues of epidemiology, basic and clinical science, grading systems, cognitive assessment, new research methods, protective equipment, management, prevention, and long term outcome, and to discuss a unitary model for understanding concussive injury. At the conclusion of the conference, a small group of experts were given a mandate by the conference delegates and organising bodies to draft a document describing the agreement position reached by those in attendance at that meeting. For the purpose of this paper, this group will be called the Concussion in Sport Group (CISG).
This review seeks to summarise the findings of the Vienna conference and to provide a working document that will be widely applicable to sport related concussion. This document is developed for use by doctors, therapists, health professionals, coaches, and other people involved in the care of injured athletes, whether at the recreational, elite, or professional level.
During the course of the symposium, a persuasive argument was made that a comprehensive systematic approach to concussion would be of potential benefit to aid the injured athlete and direct management decisions.1 This protocol represents a work in progress, and, as with all other guidelines or proposals, it must undergo revision …
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