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whiskey
14-11-06, 16:11
On Sunday, I refereed at U16 Level Cornwall B v Somerset B at Wellington School. A round robin county tournament which also involved Devon and Gloucester. Ten minutes in to my game a player sustained a serious neck and back injury which required an ambulance being sent. It took 35 minutes to get to the ground, then a further 15 minutes to transfer the boy in to the ambulance. A number of questions need to be posed

1.Should there have been a permanent paramedic/St John's ambulance presence for such a high intensity/physical match



2. Who is responsible for the safety of the players in this situation me or the county society ie should I ask that all medical matters be passed on, should I ask for First Aid competency certificates/absolve myself of responsibility/refuse to start until I am confident that this matter has been resolved?


3.I am confident that I did everything right( luckily the boys father was a nurse and was a great help) but what about the insurance/legal implications?

4.As an aside there was no fencing around the pitch and my TJ reported that spectators were encroaching, should I have not started the match?

ex-lucy
14-11-06, 17:11
i had a similar set of qs for Sunday. Stortford v Canada U17s.
Basically ... i was told by an assessor in attendance that it's not your problem as a ref, it is the home club's/ organising CB's problem.
I think he said just a quick question such as "there is a physio, isnt there?" And then a quick chat with the physio as to your policy with physios.
Then as long as someone has a mobile phone there isnt much else you can do/ insist on.
Again, fencing etc is home club's lookout.
You should insist on fencing or similar (even a white line or markers) and if it doesnt materialise it's up to you whether you continue ...
me ? i would continue and then ask the spectators to get back and then say to TJ if they dont get back you can do what you like ...

OB..
14-11-06, 17:11
Agree. It is not your responsibility as a referee unless you can see something unsafe. In the USA once I remember seeing a corner flag set in concrete. It turned out there was some structure under the ground at that point, so when play started, they put a protective mat over it! We played, and nothing happened, even though the mat kept slipping.

First aid is the organiser's responsibility.

Pablo
14-11-06, 19:11
Re: point 4 about the spectators encroaching - simply stopping the game and politely announcing to the crowd that you will not resume until everybody has taken three steps back usually has the desired effect. If they encroach again, make them take four steps back and explain that a) your TJ needs space to run and b) it's for the crowd's own safety (players getting tackled into them, etc.

Of course, a canny TJ will make sure that a few people get bumped, a few toes get trodden on and a few drinks get spilt as he runs up and down the line... all entirely by accident, of course... Actions speak louder than words!

Tibbs
15-11-06, 00:11
Of course, a canny TJ will make sure that a few people get bumped, a few toes get trodden on and a few drinks get spilt as he runs up and down the line... all entirely by accident, of course... Actions speak louder than words!

Not sure I'm canny but I have gone straight through a parent at a junior 7s tournament. The other TJ saw it and said I even dropped my shoulder to get a better hit, but my eyes were on the runner's feet and I wasn't aware I'd done it. I'd only just started reffing at the time, so I was a healthy 19.5 stone of tight head prop! :eek:

The parents stayed back after that, especially since I didn't even break stride... :D

Chris

PaulDG
15-11-06, 09:11
On Sunday, I refereed at U16 Level Cornwall B v Somerset B at Wellington School. A round robin county tournament which also involved Devon and Gloucester. Ten minutes in to my game a player sustained a serious neck and back injury which required an ambulance being sent. It took 35 minutes to get to the ground, then a further 15 minutes to transfer the boy in to the ambulance. A number of questions need to be posed

1.Should there have been a permanent paramedic/St John's ambulance presence for such a high intensity/physical match

IMHO, no.

In the case of any suspected neck or back injury, a paramedic or a St John's ambulance person will do exactly what every other first aider should do - if the casualty is in no other danger, keep them warm and call for a "proper" ambulance or air amublance.

No one else is properly able to deal with the potential of such injuries - no one else has the equipment.

And a St John's presence costs a lot of money these days. Very handy if the club doesn't have qualified first aiders but if they're following the RUF's Seal of Approval scheme, all their lead coaches should be First Aid trained and probably many of their other volunteers will also be qualified.

Deeps
15-11-06, 14:11
IMHO, no.

...but if they're following the RUF's Seal of Approval scheme, all their lead coaches should be First Aid trained ...

Paul, where in the SOA paperwork does it state this?

PaulDG
15-11-06, 15:11
Paul, where in the SOA paperwork does it state this?

I could be wrong about this, but it's what I've always been led to believe is the case. It's certainly the case at our club that team coaches have to be at least Level 1, First Aid qualified and have CRB if working with young people. I've always been told this is a SOA requirement.

Deeps
15-11-06, 16:11
Paul, my question was honest having spent more than 2 years compiling the necessary information for submission for the SOA. It sounds as though your committee have made some very sensible policy decisions. CRB is a separate issue and at my club every single adult who has any kind of supervisory control over children and young people is required to be CRB cleared. Most of us are on our second iteration.

With first aid I discovered that the RFU (leaflet 5) will give you the required contents of a first aid kit but was less than forthcoming as to who and how many should be trained and to what level.

The rather woolly answer was 'as many first aiders as you can with whatever qualifications they bring with them'.

I think the RFU was/is reluctant to specify a minimum standard as clubs would then require additional funding from the RFU to provide the necessary training.

What I did discover was that following the Hillsborough disaster the soccer community got itself organised and now provides 5 different levels of first aid training. The club has access to a friendly soccer first aid trainer who periodically runs basic Emergency First Aid training for volunteers at cost.

ex-lucy
15-11-06, 16:11
it is a dodgy area ..

club i reffed the other week .. had 3 teams at home ... the club covered themselves with a paid physio/ first aid person/ medic .. whatever ... but the poor bloke was running round like a blue arsed flie ... we had 15 mins injury time in the first half ... and 10 in the second half and we only just finished last ... lots of injuries ... muscle pulls, ligaments stretched ...
i would hate to think what would have happened if he had had a serious injury on two + pitches at the same time ...

Padster
15-11-06, 19:11
Here is a link to the guide. It isn't prescriptive about levels of first aid training just that you have to have the facilities available and all age groups are covered. Clubs should provide training opportunities for this.

http://www.rfu.com/PDFs/clubdevelopment/Actv_Sports_SOA_INS.pdf

:)

didds
16-11-06, 16:11
i would hate to think what would have happened if he had had a serious injury on two + pitches at the same time ...

presumably someone would have aclled an ambulance - as somebody elsewhere opined "serious injuries" can have little done excepot keep em warm and still.

Unless its so serious that CPR etc is required maybe.

The bottom line is that - IMO - clubs generally have not enough opnus placed on them to provide adequate cover, but the runb is that anything much more than the status quo would possibly lead to games being cancelled - we as a club struggle to find positions such as selection committee chairman, team managers and even captains, so quite where several volunteers to become club first aiders may come from I am not sure (as an example). Let alone the onus this then places on them... teams can p[lay with their captain missing one week, or a coach, or a manager, or with no selectioon chairman. But if a first aider MUST be present (and non-playing cos what happens if the 1st aider get injured etc) and all the club's first aiders are uinavailble does the game now get cancelled. Etc.

I think more needs to be done. I am just unsure how it gets covered in reality.

didds

mbkingsmill
16-11-06, 21:11
Hi All

As a club first aid co-ordinator here is what we have in place (it may not be perfect but it gives us a level of cover that enables us to deal with minor injuries and stablise major ones.)

At a mini/junior level all coaches sit through a first aid awareness course provided by an A&E Consultant who happens to be a club member. This primarily covers CPR, Choking, and how to control major bleeding. We do talk about other injuries but the advice that is given is don't move the casualty, dial 999 and keep them as warm as possible.

Minor lumps and bumps are not really covered on the course other than to apply the R.I.C.E.* principle as appropriate.

With regards the senior teams the 1st's employ a physio who looks after them and the 2nd's, 3rd's & 4th's make use of the knowledge of players within their team's.

All teams have a first aid kit and a blanket. There is nothing specific in this kit that you wouldn't find in a HSE Workplace first aid kits, we have just adjusted the quantities of some items and added some instant ice packs. (e.g. in the minis kits we have increased the number of plasters and cleansing wipes and in the kits for the seniors and older age groups there is large abundance of zinc oxide tape.)

We do not use any type of heat treatment sprays (e.g. Cold Spray or Deep Heat) as these can mask injuries and make them worse. What we will use is a cold compress/ice pack and water. - now whilst I fully supported the outlawing of the "magic sponge" it was a very effective tool on a cold day - just the thought of the ice cold sponge was enough to cure some players.

What I say to all club members involved with first aid is "Remember First Aid is 95% Common Sense".

Matt

P.S. I have asked the medical department at Twickenham for some clearer guidance as to what level of first aid cover is required and whilst I have had an initial reply it was very vague and as such I have requested further detail and clarification.