Management of Concussion

How should concussion be managed?

If a player sustains a concussion they should be managed in accordance with best practice guidelines. Use the links under “More” above to find specific information about managing concussion relevant to your role in rugby. It is recognised that the medical/first aid cover at training and matches varies, but the universal principles are encompassed in the 4 Rs, which are listed below.

Remember the 4 Rs

Recognise the signs and symptoms (PDF 859KB)

Remove the player from play (PDF 859KB)

Recover fully before returning to sport (PDF 859KB)

Return only after following a Graduated Return to Play (1.6MB)

How is concussion treated?

There is no specific treatment for concussion and no medication that can be taken to speed up recovery. The mainstay of treatment is rest; it is not practical to have complete rest but there are some things that should be avoided to aid recovery if they make symptoms worse:

  • Alcohol – avoid
  • TV and cinema – limit as guided by symptoms
  • Computer or computer games – limit as guided by symptoms
  • Sport and physical exertion. Walking is fine and graduated use of exertion may be used under medical supervision if symptoms are prolonged
  • Reading or writing for long periods. Break up what needs to be done into short periods

The information contained in this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for appropriate medical advice or care. If you believe that you or someone under your care has sustained a concussion we strongly recommend that you contact a qualified health care professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The authors have made responsible efforts to include accurate and timely information. However they make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy of the information contained and specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the content on this site.