Dr Barke discusses Steve Smith’s Ashes concussion

On Sunday 18 August 2019 Australian cricketer Steve Smith’s concussion lead to the first ever use of a concussion substitution in international test cricket.

Following a ball to the neck while batting on Saturday, Steve Smith was removed from play to undergo medical checks for concussion but was later returned to the field.  The following day he was withdrawn having developed symptoms raising questions over whether he was properly managed on the day of injury.

“There will, rightly, be people questioning whether the decision for Smith to continue on Saturday was the right call.  Certainly for the casual observer watching on TV it looked like Smith had sustained a head injury but he went on to satisfy his medical team, who would have used a barrage of tests, that he was well. Unfortunately we know that in some cases players appear well and then go on to develop signs and symptoms later. That is why it is crucially important that, even if players return to play, they are monitored closely as has been done with Smith. It should be noted that outside of professional sport there is no place for pitch-side “Head Injury Assessment”.  Players with a suspected head injury should be removed from play and not be returned on the day of injury and until they have received medical attention.”– Dr.Barke

Meliora Medical Group’s Managing Partner, Dr Sam Barke, spoke to The Times and various online media outlets about the difficulties surrounding diagnosing concussion and the importance of ensuring a full recovery before returning to play.

The Times, Monday 19 August 2019 – The Ashes: Steve Smith likely to feel concussion symptoms for at least a week

The Times, Monday 19 August 2019 – Australia’s Steve Smith in doubt for third Ashes Test

Sporting News Online, Monday 19 August 2019 – Ashes 2019: Steve Smith concussion – Q&A with expert

MSN Sport, Monday 19 August 2019 – Q and A on concussion following Smith’s injury