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First Aid

THE RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION has put in place new standards relating to the management of concussion and extending the reach of its concussion education initiatives.

The return to play pathway for players who have sustained a concussion is dependent on the player’s age and the medical resources that they can access.

The new routine minimum stand-down period is 19 days for adults and 23 days for Under 19s.

The RFU has consulted with the game and independent medical experts to create simplified and standardised return to play pathways that cover players of all ages and at all levels. These stand-down periods are to be seen as the minimum periods before a player can return to play and may be longer where appropriate.

The return to play pathway is made up of rest and Graduated Return To Play (GRTP) phases. Taken together they form the minimum stand-down period. The length of these phases for an individual is determined by the player’s recovery and informed by clinical assessment.

The revised RFU guidelines simplify and standardise the return to play pathway and timelines for all players, especially those under the age of 19 which is consistent with the advice to manage children and adolescent players more conservatively.

Further information can be found as follows:

•Concussion awareness and education targeting players, coaches and officials: http://www.rfu.com/managingrugby/firstaid/injuries/concussion

•Coach education: http://www.rfu.com/takingpart/coach/coachdevelopmentprogrammes

•First aider education: www.rfu.com/firstaid

•Health care professional education: http://www.rfu.com/managingrugby/firstaid/coursesandguidelines/icis

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