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Vertonghen demonstrates FA Concussion Protocols require urgent attention

On Tuesday night, during the Champions League final, we saw a brutal clash in an airborne challenge between Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen with team-mate Toby Alderweireld.  Vertonghen appeared to have sustained a serious head injury and was left visibly bloodied.  Whilst he was treated and taken off the pitch for a short assessment, he was given the all clear by medical staff to return to the pitch within a few minutes.

Moments after his return to the pitch, it became clear that Vertonghen was in no fit state to continue and as he exited the pitch once again he began wretching and requiring help to stand.

Although Vertonghen has since been given the all clear by Spurs, the shocking scenes highlight the potential dangers with mild brain injuries, such as concussion, where symptoms may not become obvious for a few hours or even days.  In many cases, people who have sustained a head injury appear to be completely fine, when they are not.

This means that people can be left in a vulnerable state, as they may begin to experience debilitating or distressing symptoms when they are alone and without access to medical assistance.  Similarly, if the injuries sustained are underestimated, they may engage in activities which could seriously hinder their recovery, such as strenuous exercise and contact sports, returning to work, drinking alcohol and taking anti-inflammatory medication.

Symptoms can include:

  • Headache that doesn’t go away or isn’t relieved with painkillers
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sick or vomiting
  • Feeling stunned, dazed or confused
  • Memory loss
  • Clumsiness or trouble balancing
  • Changes in vision

Although symptoms following head injuries are generally temporary, they can last for months and it’s important to seek appropriate advice about the extent of the injury and what to avoid during recovery.

What should you do if you or a loved one suffers a head injury?

It’s important to consider any head injury as being potentially dangerous, and take necessary precautions.  It’s advisable to refer to NHS UK for advice and to call NHS 111 if you remain unsure.

There are also information leaflets from brain injury charities, such as Headway.  Headway is a UK wide charity focusing on providing vital information about brain injury and improving life after brain injury.  Their leaflet on minor head injury and concussion can be accessed here.

Tanith Jones is a paralegal in the Adult Brain Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp.  If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or you are concerned about treatment received, contact Tanith free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4864 or at tanithjones@boltburdonkemp.co.uk.  Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Adult Brain Injury team will contact you.  Find out more about the Adult Brain Injury team.

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