New concussion data: 'We can’t stand still when it comes to figuring out how best to treat issues like this'

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A prophet can live a frustrating life, especially if he, or she, suggests a treatment for injury diametrically opposed to conventional wisdom. One such voice spoke at IMO annual meeting in Killarney yesterday when Dr Tadhg Crowley outlined a new approach to treating concussion.

Dr Crowley, who is the medical officer attached to Kilkenny’s hurling team, challenged the one-size-fits-all approach pointing out that American studies have suggested that enforced rest after a concussion may not necessarily help the patient and, in some cases, may actually have a negative impact. He said that GPs were assessing the approach.

“We can’t stand still when it comes to figuring out how best to treat issues like this,” he said. “This has been proven to help patients, which is our main priority.”

Of course, he is right — innovation leads to solutions but a concussion is a serious event and must be treated professionally and with the greatest caution. Any sports manager who points to this research to encourage an athlete to make an early return must be suspect — at the very least.

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