June 2017 Conference: Concussion with focus on Sport

ABIL welcomed 3 excellent speakers; Dr Richard Sylvester, Dr Simon Kemp and Dr Sam Barke along with a well-attended room of delegates to our June conference. It was lovely to meet a lot of newcomers to ABIL. The positive feedback was well received and naturally very encouraging!

The conference provided an opportunity for presentations on a wide range of issues related to concussion, with a particular focus on how the world of sport has changed and developed its approach.

Thank you to Dr Richard Sylvester (Consultant Neurologist) for providing 2 presentations. The first of which provided an overview of some of the major issues around concussion and the concerns it raises in the context of sport. Some video footage provided clear, though uncomfortable, viewing of how such injuries can occur and the residual effects on the unfortunate recipients as well as some ‘interesting’ responses. Richard’s second presentation looked in more depth at the medium- to long-term effects and their management, based on his experience of running a complex sports concussion clinic and as an advisor to the English Football Association.

As Chief Medical Office of the Rugby Football Union, Dr Simon Kemp was able to provide an in depth analysis of the current UK Concussion landscape, recognition and diagnosis, and how and why this has attracted increasingly high levels of media and public interest. Simon cited the Rugby Concussion Risk Management approach:→ Awareness & Education → Prevention → Management – Recognise & Remove – Recover and Return → Research → Communication.

Simon also used some video footage to demonstrate why concussion has been the most common Premiership match injury in rugby for the last five seasons.

Dr Sam Burke, Medical Director of Return2Play (R2P) gave a unique perspective on what is happening at grassroots level, with a particular focus on children and young people who participate in contact sports. Sam cited how guidelines and advice are often misinterpreted; and that children find it difficult to describe symptoms and their evolution. R2P was founded to promote awareness of concussion, lead research on its management, and to make it easy for grassroots organisations to keep sport as safe as possible for everyone. Their development of a concussion-logging app enables immediate logging of a player’s concussion via this app. This then sends out a notification to every team they play for, parents and other professionals involved in their care; R2P will also issue medical advice on warning signs to look out for, and explain the player’s next steps for a safe return to play.

ABIL extend thanks and appreciation to Richard, Simon and Sam for providing such an interesting and thought-provoking afternoon.

ABIL also thanks Irwin Mitchell for their ongoing support in administration and conference co-ordination as well as venue, refreshments and cakes!

Tony Hart – Chair of ABIL

The programme and Dr Kemp’s and Dr Barke’s presentations can be downloaded below:

ABIL-June 6th 2017-Conference Programme

Sport Related Concussion – recognition and management – Dr Simon Kemp

Concussion management – the difficulties in children and amateur sport – Dr Sam Barke