Finn praises Limerick medics for proper response to concussion
By John Harrington
Limerick defender, Sean Finn, has praised the team medics who took him off the pitch after he suffered a concussion in the Allianz League match against Cork.
By his own admission Finn was keen to play on at the time, but the medics took that decision out of his hands.
He knows now that had he stayed on the pitch he would have been a hazard to himself.
“It was my first concussion,” said Finn at yesterday’s launch of the John West Féile.
“Very much a mild concussion at the time. Just took precautionary measures for a couple of weeks. Perfectly fine now, to be honest.
“I had concussion symptoms for a number of hours. I can see why you wouldn’t want a number of them. It’s quite serious.
“I wasn’t keen to come on the field at the time. I was trying to make up the answers to what they were asking me – I think I got them all wrong! They said the best thing was to just keep me off. I was just shook. I didn’t train for 10 or 12 days, then returned to training.
“I think it’s natural that you want to play. It’s just the competitive nature that the player has but I think it’s important that the medical team take their own initiative on it too. It was only maybe 10 minutes later where I really showed symptoms of real concussion so if I was probably a delayed reaction. If I was out on the pitch 10 minutes later I was a hazard to myself.”
Finn regards his concussion as a relatively mild one, but he still had some uncomfortable symptoms in the aftermath of the head-high tackle that forced him off the pitch.
“Very much a loss of memory,” he says. “Just a loss of memory really. Severe headaches. But at the moment, I got up, came off the field, tried to make up the answers. They probably weren’t clear and they probably knew that I wasn’t right but, again, it was up to them to make that decision.
“If they said, ‘You can go on, Sean’ I would have went on but that wasn’t the right thing to do but it was good that I wasn’t in the position to make that decision. It was important that they used their initiative even though it might be the hard call to make.
“I didn’t know where I was really. Didn’t know where my gear bag was in the dressingroom. Couldn’t remember the goals going in. Couldn’t remember the score and stuff like that and what way we were playing so to be honest after a couple of hours I came around and I was fine but I’d be a hazard to myself if I was allowed back onto that field.”
The GAA has put a lot of effort into highlighting the dangers of concussion in recent years by producing concussion management guidelines and a Gaelic Games Concussion Awareness eLearning course.
Finn admits his own experience has helped make him more aware that concussion is a brain injury that needs to be taken seriously.
“Possibly I would have been aware but I never really took much notice because I was never really affected by it so I would always say, ‘Oh yeah, concussion is a big deal’ but when it hasn’t really impacted you as such you don’t really know the extent of it.
“It was only on reflection where I seen the reaction that it’s really serious and that was very much a mild concussion. I could see if you got a serious concussion how bad it would be so yeah, it’s definitely something that… I think there’s a lot more attention towards it now.
“As I mentioned, I think it’s important that the medics do make the hard call and say, ‘Look, put the player first’.