With the increased emphasis on the best management of concussion and the litigation that we are seeing in football and rugby, which threaten the nature of those sports, the BHA are reinforcing the protocols in racing. In practical terms the aim is to ensure what is done most of the time is happening all the time.
Concussion screening needs to be formally undertaken in a quiet place once the faller’s heart rate approaches normal. As such it is difficult to do it trackside and the emphasis is to undertake it in the JMR or Medical Area on a Point-to-Point Course. All doctors have received the attached guidance to remind them of the policy.
Jockeys therefore should automatically go to the JMR/Medical Area on return to the Weighing Room complex, even if they have already been seen on the racecourse, where concussion screening will be carried out. Scales are aware of this requirement. The rapid screen is a series of racing specific questions about winners of major races (Flat or Jump), questions about the race day (horse ridden, race type, jockeys racing that day) and a heel to toe balance test. It is worth pointing out that on occasion other factors may lead to a diagnosis of concussion even when the screen is negative. Jump Jockeys are familiar with the screening process which has been common practice at Cheltenham and Aintree for some years.
Please could you therefore be reminded:
– Please automatically go and see the doctor/nurse on return to the weighing room following a fall even if already seen on the racecourse
– Don’t expect the doctor to come to the Changing Room to find you
– Expect to be asked about the winners of major races and questions about the raceday you are at
– Expect to do a heel to toe balance test
– If you are seen and seem ok but later start to feel unwell go back to the medical room
– If your fall was heavy you may be asked to return later for a further assessment
– If any of your colleagues fall and don’t seem right encourage them to see the doctor once again to avoid putting themselves or you at risk of further injury
– You cannot be passed to continue riding without being seen for concussion screening following a fall