Pitchside Medicine

This session included presentations on: Rules, regs and real life; What’s in the bag?; Views from the bench – the coach/manager; Views from the bench – the medical perspective; and Case study: ‘should Ronaldo play?’ Two opposing views on same clinical scenario of a player sustaining MCL in Euro final.

The key messages from this session are for the medic to know their sport, keep up to date with the rules and regulations, know their athletes, practice different scenarios and be prepared for any eventuality, and for the team to know their roles. It is also key to have the right (working) equipment for the right situation. The coach needs different information at different points of time (pre-, in- and post-match) for planning the before, during and after the game. The coach admitted that there can be opposing aims between the coach and the medic but that relationships should be built based on mutual respect. The coach expects the medic to know the answers and to be decisive, even with grey areas, but to also be honest. The discussion around the case study of whether to allow Ronaldo to play on or to take him off was lively and interesting and highlighted the difficulty of making a ‘good’ injury assessment on the pitch in a very short period of time in an atmosphere of heightened emotions for a decision that – either way – could affect the outcome of the game.