Important Notice/Letter from ACU

ATTENTION ALL RIDING MEMBERS

Dear ACU Licence Holder

Concussion related injuries has taken on much more prominence recently because of the well-publicised injuries reported in the sport of Rugby.

Why must Concussion be taken seriously?

Ignoring the signs and symptoms of concussion may result in a more serious brain injury, a prolonged period of recovery or in the worst case lead to death. The potential for serious and prolonged injury emphasises the need for medical assessment and follow up medical support until the concussion injury has been fully resolved. A return to competitive motorcycle sport before the complete resolution of the concussion exposes the rider to recurrent concussion and also places himself and others at further risk of an incident and possible injury. There is no such thing as minor concussion or a ‘knock to the head’.

What is Concussion?

Concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It is a complex process in which forces are transmitted to the brain and result in temporary impairment of brain function. That is why following a concussion injury riders should not drive or ride a motorcycle on the road or in competition until they have been passed medically fit to do so by their Doctor and waited for the minimum time period as outlined further down this document.

What causes Concussion?

Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head or body or from whiplash type movements of the head and neck which can occur whilst the rider is in competition. Immediately following a suspected concussion, the brain is susceptible to further damage in the event of another impact.

Visible Clues of suspected Concussion are?

  • Lying motionless on the ground – Dazed, blank or vacant look
  • Slow to get up – Confused, not aware of what is going on around them
  • Unsteady on feet – Suspected or confirmed loss of consciousness
  • Balance problems or falling over – Loss of responsiveness
  • Grabbing/clutching head

As soon as ACU Head Office are made aware that an individual has been injured and consequently diagnosed with concussion, the rider is placed on the ACU Stop List.

What are the Recovery Times for Concussion?

The recovery time for anyone diagnosed with concussion was discussed at the ACU Medical Panel and are confirmed as follows:

Over 20 years: Excluded immediately for the following 48 hours, with a further 7 days (as a minimum) suspension from competition (nine days in total).
16-19 years: 12 days
15 and under: 23 days

What to do before resuming competition?

In all cases, evidence is required that the individual is fit to participate in competition which means they will be required to produce a doctors’ letter/statement. This should then be forwarded to ACU Head Office (email: licence@acu.org.uk) and the individual will be removed from the Stop List.

Please Remember

Concussion is or could be a serious injury if it is not dealt with in the appropriate manner. Although it is appreciated you will want to get back on your motorcycle and compete as quickly as you can, please bear in mind your own safety and that of others. The recovery period outlined above has been put in place by Medical experts – it needs to be adhered and anyone trying to short cut this might incur further penalties being imposed against them.

With kind regards

Gary Thompson MBE BEM
General Secretary
Telephone: 01788 566414
Fax: 01788 573585
Website: acu.org.uk