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Clarifying concussion in youth rugby: recognise and remove
  1. L Hodgson1,2,
  2. J Patricios3,4,5
  1. 1 Academic Orthopaedics, University of Nottingham, UK
  2. 2 Corobeus Sports Consultancy Ltd, UK
  3. 3 Sports Concussion South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
  4. 4 The Section of Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  5. 5 The Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr L Hodgson, Academic Orthopaedics, Trauma and Sports Medicine, Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; lisa.hodgson{at}

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The issue

In the April 2015 issue of BJSM, Kirkwood et al 1 drew attention to concussion in youth rugby, concluding with four recommendations, most of which are well founded. One would agree there is a lack of medical personnel at youth games, a need for increased awareness of concussion management and a requirement for generalised data collection. However, suggesting rugby alone should ‘never be compulsory’ is highlighting that it might perhaps be an unsafe sport to play.

Concussion awareness is positive

Concussion is a ‘hot topic’ and Kirkwood et al 1 highlight concussion as the most commonly reported rugby match injury. This is due to heightened concussion awareness and diagnosis with the introduction of the new pitch side assessment tools rather than an increase in true incidence.2 This is a good outcome, if we know about the injury and establishing it is now better recorded, it can be suitably managed.

Identifying concussion and managing appropriately

A review in rugby league observed 470 concussions over seven seasons (2.65/1000 h). The odds of sustaining one concussion was 7%, whereas the chances of receiving …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.