SYDNEY Aug 9 2012
The Australian Rugby Union has backed a decision by SANZAR to trial a pitch-side concussion assessment (PSCA) during the Rugby Championship.
Following trials in this year's Junior World Championship in South Africa, the PSCA protocols have been adopted for the four-nation competition between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
Any player who sustains a head injury with signs of concussion will be able to leave the field and be replaced for up to five minutes while an assessment is undertaken.
If a player passes the assessment, they can return to the field but, if a concussion is suspected, the replacement becomes permanent.
Players who cannot return are then expected to undertake further testing to fully diagnose any conditions.
Wallabies doctor Warren McDonald says the protocols should ensure a more complete diagnosis for players suffering concussion-like symptoms.
"These protocols, which have been developed by a team of experts, provide a very clear and medically sensible approach to assessing and diagnosing whether players are fit to continue following a head knock," McDonald said.
"The opportunity to assess a player away from the field of play, without the game continuing around them, ensures a thorough evaluation can take place."
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