The tragic death of 14-year-old Aodhán O’Connor as a result of a head injury sustained following an accidental collision when representing Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in a schools game last Wednesday, brings into focus our duty of care to looking after our players as best we can.
The Dingle GAA underage player was subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital but lost his battle on Saturday night.
This is a reminder that with all contact sports, concussions can occur through direct contact or via whiplash forces through heavy falls onto hard ground. The attached ‘GAA Concussion Management Guidelines’ document sets out what concussion is and the Field Recognition Toolkit is an ‘Aide Memoir’ for on field assessment. A laminated Pocket Recognition Tool is contained within each FA kit that was supplied to Teams last year. Croke Park have updated that tool with their own version attached.
Aodhán’s death is a rare event, but concussions take place on a regular basis especially in older age groups with the levels of contact involved.
Please be aware of the possibility of concussion and always err on the side of caution when dealing with head injuries in Practice or Games. Concussion is more than just a heavy bang to the head, it’s a brain injury. Players also need to realise this and Coaches are well placed to educate them on this and encourage them to call out on this themselves and not to just brush it off.
I also attach Information Sheets for Juvenile Players, Adult Players and Parents/Coaches and ask that you distribute the relevant ones to your Parent groups.
I would ask that all Coaches who have still to complete the GAA’s online Concussion module do so asap. The link is below and it takes about 15 minutes. Smartphones and tablets are unable to access it.
E-Learning Module on Concussion Awareness
The GAA’s Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee has devised an e-Learning module which aims to help players, coaches and parents recognise the signs and symptoms of concussion and understand the principles of managing the injury. The module will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and there is a quiz at the end.
Steps if you are not already registered on the learning.gaa.ie portal.
- Users must be registered onhttp://learning.gaa.ie/(Portal Registration Guide)
- Check to ensure that pop-ups are unblocked (Unblock pop-ups) NB – The module will not open if pop-ups are not unblocked.
- Once logged in, visit the player section –http://learning.gaa.ie/player
- You will see a block on the right of your screen called ‘e-Learning Courses’, click on ‘Concussion Awareness’ in this block
- Click ‘Enter’
Direct link to module below,