Concussion is a common injury to athletes of all levels but is notoriously difficult to diagnose.
Sending a player back into the game who has already received a concussion puts them at risk of second impact syndrome which, in extreme cases, has resulted in a death on the field says Dr Adrian Cohen from the University of Sydney and Headsafe.
Dr Cohen has been researching concussion for nearly three decades and in recent years he has begun working with Randwick Rugby Union to measure the forces athletes experience in professional sport.
He’s measured impacts of up to 180 Gs of force, which is three times harder than Muhammad Ali punched.
Concussions are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury and as such are a serious injury. Dr Cohen equates a concussion with a hamstring tear. If you wouldn’t send a player back out onto the field with a torn hamstring, then they shouldn’t be sent back out if they’ve received a concussion.
In this day and age concussion is under the microscope with the NFL dealing with multiple lawsuits due to their handling of brain injuries in previous decades and multiple sporting codes in Australia adopting concussion testing protocols
In this episode Dr Cohen explains what causes concussions, how it’s diagnosed today and how he’s developing a world-first concussion detection device called the Concussionometer.