Tuesday 12 April 2016, 13:47

FIFA joins other stakeholders in concussion conference

Next October, FIFA will join some of the world’s top international sports organizations in Berlin, Germany for the Fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport.

Concussions are in the spotlight more than ever, and have become a predominant safety issue for athletes. For this reason, organizations like FIFA, the IIHF, the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby, and the International Federation for Equestrian Sports have taken a lead role in organizing this conference and developing it into the world’s most influential process for policy makers on concussions in sport.

The purpose of the conference is twofold. The first objective is to present a summary of new evidence-based research that covers all aspects of concussions including definition, management, investigations, treatment, return to play protocol, prevention and knowledge transfer.

An expert panel group, which includes FIFA Chief Medical Officer Prof. Jiri Dvorak and F-MARC member Dr Nina Feddermann, reviews the research presented at the Conference and develops the consensus from the information presented at the meeting.

With the facts presented by the world’s experts and researchers in concussion in sport, the second objective is to reach an agreement amongst the conference participants in developing a Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sports: a protocol document for physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the care of injured athletes at the recreational, elite or professional level.

Since its inception in 2001, the conference has become the main forum for concussion awareness and prevention. It led to the publication of the first Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) in 2005, which is in use by many sports leagues and federations today. The Consensus and the SCAT has formed the foundation by which the majority of sporting organisations have developed protocols with respect to concussions. The SCAT ranks as one of the most significant efforts by the sports medicine field to address concussion treatment and prevention.

The most recent conferences (the last occurring in 2012 at the Home of FIFA in Zurich) have developed and adjusted the SCAT, currently in its 3rd version (SCAT3), in order to fit better the treatment and prevention needs of both pro athletes and children (Child SCAT3). A pocket concussion recognition tool (Pocket CRT) has also been developed for parents, coaches and others to help with concussion detection. The forthcoming Berlin Consensus will address a broad range of topics including concussion detection, evaluation and that would then be published in leading medical journals.

The Fifth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport (ICCCS) will run from 27-28 October, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.