The Qatar-based Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital has launched a programme to look into concussions in football players – the first of its kind in the Gulf region.
A unique sports programme committed to providing world-class concussion care to football players, as well as contributing to the legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, has been launched in Qatar.
Based on international best practice, the programme includes raising awareness, educating medical personnel, facilitating early recognition and treatment of concussions, a specialist referral network, and advanced sports concussion clinics.
“Concussion affects athletes at all levels of sport. If managed appropriately the symptoms and signs of concussion resolve spontaneously within a couple of weeks in most cases,” said Dr. Louis Holtzhausen, a sports physician at Aspetar. “However, complications can occur, including prolonged symptoms, an increased susceptibility to concussion or other injuries and potential long-term mental consequences of multiple concussions.”
The move comes amid a recent increase in public awareness on sport-related concussion, with an international media focus on the prompt diagnosis and management of the condition.
According to Aspetar, the increase in global attention was triggered by a highly-publicised lawsuit won by former professional American Football players who sustained concussions in their careers. The case against the National Football League (NFL) saw the major sports body found guilty of neglect by not making players aware of the risks, underdiagnosing and mistreating of concussions.
Aspetar has been accredited by the Gulf Cooperation Council as a specialist hospital for the region, and by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.
The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has also approved it as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.