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threegatesexpress
17-01-05, 22:01
For the fourth time in the last year I had a player with an injury requiring an ambulance (dislocated elbow...ouch).

Once again, I find myself as the immediate first aid support (I've maintained a qualification for some years now), with fortunately someone on the touchline of the next pitch who could take over from me whilst the ambulance was in transit. After a six minute stoppage (18 mins into the second half), I resumed play. Paramedic arrived after about twenty mintes, and ambulance after another twenty.

I can't help thinking that the first aid provisions that are made in most clubs leave something to be desired. There was a stretcher, and there was first aid kit of sorts, but pretty pathetic - not even a space blanket to keep the guy warm.

Chatting with the ref from the other game afterwards, he recounted that in his native South Africa, the referees aren't allowed to even start the match unless there's an ambulance on the touchline. I doubt that we could achieve the same in this country, but I'm sure we could do better.

I'd be interested to know what other ref's experiences have been. Is this symptomatic of second and third fifteen rugby (as most of my matches seem to be), or is it more widespread? What should be done to address this?

Robert Burns
18-01-05, 00:01
Unfortunatly yes.

And bar having a comprehensive first aid kit on the side line with a certificated person to use it (certificate to be shown before game), I can't see what else we can do. There has been numerous times in the past where I have complained about the first aid provisions, but really it always seems to fall on deaf ears

OB..
18-01-05, 01:01
In our Society, referees are discouraged from taking First Aid courses precisely so that they do not get called into having to deal with injuries. It is the responsibility of the home team, and we do NOT want to get into the position where clubs rely on the referee to have the necessary expertise in medicine as well as his PhD's in Law and Diplomacy.

Robert Burns
18-01-05, 15:01
So should a rule be brought in that a game shall not commence unless said first aid kit is available, present and ONLY for use in that game. And a certificated person who has shown you their valid certicate is present for the entire game (your game, not others if there are more than one) to use it.

If This is not the case, game doesn't commence.

Now I realise this may cancel a lot of games in the short run, but shurley clubs would get up on the idea and I'm sure players will appreciate it when they are on the floor, blood everywhere.

threegatesexpress
18-01-05, 16:01
Robert...difficult call on that one, because then the referee has to make a judgment on whether a first aid kit is "fit for purpose". I can hear the criminal injuries lawyers sharpening their pencils and getting their calculators out right now!

I'm sure that the leagues have their rules on first aid, and I would imagine that these are reasonably well observed. Maybe the gaps appear when it's a friendly, third fifteen, etc...

Might bring this up at the next monthly society meeting. Can't imagine I'm the first to raise this.

HANSON7379
19-01-05, 23:01
To day i had the worst case you can think off, 23sec into first half blue 4 caught ball from kick off red hit him hard, blue 3 came in to support blue 4 and due to the hit by red, blue 3 head butted the back of blue 4 neck knocking him out cold.Blue 4 stopped breathing and started to go blue in the face. Luckly for me it was a service match and they had medical cover on the side line and access to a med centre via ambulance, all the right kit was on hand. This player was taken to hospital and during the trip to A&E stopped breathing twice and has poss spinal proberlems. If this had been any other game it could have ended up with a player dead or crippled for life, Thank god the home team had trained people on the side line and every club should have the right kit/people for every game.

Robert Burns
20-01-05, 09:01
Welcome to the forums,

Thats precisely why better first aid provisions need to be better at the lower levels.

Nothing malicious, but serious nonetheless

didds
24-01-05, 17:01
I investigated this for "my" club back in the summer of 2004 - that is, the provision of qualified personell from an appropriate body.

The basic responses were that the boides I asked (the obvious ones!) didn't have the man power to provide such cover on any regular basis! The quotes that we did get while not "astronomical" were at least at a level where it would have required a sizeable alteration of fund spending for a small club pushed to run 2 sides.

This doesn't detract from base supplies of "fixed" items such as sopavce blankets etc clearly, but my (limited) experience is that for whatever reasons its not finaincially viable generally speaking IF the personell is even available to start with.

So we make do with a couple of works qualified first aiders - the first appropriate 1st aid course is in March from sports foundation thingy in this area, and the agencies alluded earlier had courses but they typically clashed with training nights!

I am not happy with the situation as it now stands but its difficult to see how the situation could change for us... 9aside from more qualified 1st aiders once the courses come around!)

didds

didds
24-01-05, 17:01
oh... and this is for as much as anyuthing Level 8 1st XV.

didds

didds
24-01-05, 17:01
agree with the sentiment - but where does this personel come from? (see my other replies).

rugby needs to be careful it doesn't "force" its volunteers into areas that they feel uncomfortable - if only because of the potential litigation areas of being a 1st aider and something goes wrong etc etc etc. If nobody will volunteer (and who would in this day and age when the other options include organising test match tickets or
the annual ball) what happens to clubs then - forced to fold?

Its a major problem I accept.

didds


didds

threegatesexpress
24-01-05, 18:01
Didds....I know what you mean about the fear of personal litigation, but surely the reality of dealing with a serious injury is more likely to put the whole club at risk of litigation if it DOESN'T have qualified first aiders, IMHO.

I'm starting to get the feeling (also drawing on experience in cricket where I'm actively involved too) that clubs and officials of the governing bodies hide behind nebulous statements such as "we wouldn't be covered under the insurance", and simply abdicate responsibility. The actual terms of group insurance policies in sport always seem to be well hidden. Maybe the governing bodies should be more open about the specifics.

In the meantime, maybe we could adopt a self-help policy in which an injured player is invited to use the first aid kit - at his own risk of course - and given a mobile phone to dial NHS Direct! Damn! That wouldn't work either because he could sue for damage caused through radiation from the mobile phone! Foiled again. ;)

Robert Burns
24-01-05, 22:01
agree with the sentiment - but where does this personel come from? (see my other replies).

rugby needs to be careful it doesn't "force" its volunteers into areas that they feel uncomfortable - if only because of the potential litigation areas of being a 1st aider and something goes wrong etc etc etc. If nobody will volunteer (and who would in this day and age when the other options include organising test match tickets or
the annual ball) what happens to clubs then - forced to fold?

Its a major problem I accept.

didds


didds
The fear of legal action when it comes to a qualified first aider is only thoretical, whilst there have been attempts by idiots who have had their lives saved (but ribs broken) by a first aider, every single one has been thrown out of court, if they actually reach there in the first place.

90% of qualified first aiders are aware of the basics things they need to do in injuries, the concern I have had in the past is the lack of basic things which could make the comfort of a seriously injured player much better.

Blankets are a must, and clubs should have at least 5 of these per game being played. (thick large ones, not these silly foil things)
latex gloves, for dealing with blood injuries, normally get 1 per game, even if just a nose bleed, it's still blood.
stretcher, for getting non serious, but non walking injured off the pitch.
a wooly hat, may seem silly, but in this weather when they are laying down they will lose a lot of body heat through the head.

these small things don't cost a fortune, but can make those in pain feel much safer.

Deeps
25-01-05, 08:01
Yet we should not let things get out of perspective. First Aid is only applied common sense, it is not rocket science. What it boils down to in rugby terms is keeping a person alive until the ambulance gets there. Brain surgery is not required, neither is the setting of bones nor the replacing of dislocated joints. It is important not to confuse the role with that of the team physio either; that is entirely different. First Aid is applying as much common sense as you would if you were next on scene at a traffic accident or in a kitchen mishap. Hopefully there will be few electrical hazards on the pitch to be wary of and emergency treatment if required will follow ABC principles. Otherwise it is only necessary to keep the injured player immobile yet warm and protected from further mishap before handing over your patient to a paramedic.

The most useful instrument in the First Aid Kit will be the mobile phone to summon the emergency services, followed closely by the next of kin list and then the allergy list so that firstly the player's wife/partner/parent or carer can be summoned from the bar and then confidence as to whether the player is allergy free or specified.

Of course club members should be encouraged to undergo First Aid training courses, you can hire an instructor to come to your club for about 80 and that will qualify 20 people. Each club should have a proper system of setting up, inspecting and replenishing the First Aid kits of all the squads which, by the way, are not a resource for players to find tape, scissors or horse linament.

With respect to liability, every volunteer who undergoes an element of First Aid training and who provides a service to the club in that capacity carries the same RFU insurance public liability coverage as enjoyed by coaches and referees (first check that your club has paid its premium). This does not apply however to medical professionals who act in that capacity for the club, they must make their own arrangements. When your club reaches the dizzy heights of Level 5 I think it is then that the RFU lays down more stringent requirements where, for example, a doctor has to be available on the touchline.

First Aid should not be seen as a problem for, with a little forethought and organisation, sufficient common sense measures can easily be put in place. I also think that the referee's duty of care is to ascertain what level of First Aid care is available on the day. If it is believed to be unsatisfactory then report it to your society. The Society should then lean on clubs through the county community club meetings or even ask the RFU to do so in order to raise standards.

didds
25-01-05, 12:01
"The fear of legal action when it comes to a qualified first aider is only thoretical, whilst there have been attempts by idiots who have had their lives saved (but ribs broken) by a first aider, every single one has been thrown out of court, if they actually reach there in the first place."


But what about the stress etc of actually having to go to court in the first place? Time off work for the court case?

Why would anybody put themselves in that position?

I do accept though that the points raised by 3gates are equally of cncern - ie clubs will be held liable to provide 1st aid cover.

the greedy are making it very very difficult for us all.

didds