This protocol aims to provide a structured approach to dealing with potentially serious and/or catastrophic injuries in rugby union. Every coach and referee is provided with this information in the BokSmart Rugby Safety Courses, which reminds them on when to use this protocol. It also brings a level of accountability to rugby personnel at matches in properly managing and communicating these serious types of injuries.
SA RUGBY via BokSmart have endorsed the appointment of a Serious Injury Case Manager (SICM), whose primary role is to assist SA RUGBY in the appropriate follow-up management of rugby-related serious and/or catastrophic injuries, and data-collection on these cases. The SICM is also the direct link to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund support system.
In the event of a Serious and/or Catastrophic Injury during a rugby match or practice at a club or school, the Responsible Person/ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider must contact the ‘BokSmart Spineline’ number immediately (0800 678 678) and log the event with ER24. The Responsible Person/ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider must also notify the SICM of the incident by completing the ‘Serious Injury Report’ form and e-mailing or faxing it to the SICM within 48 hours of the event having taken place.
Depending on the severity of the injury, and as the situation requires, and where able, the SICM will visit the patient, to:
- Monitor and, if required and where possible, influence the level of care provided, and link the player and his/her family up to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund support system.
- Complete a follow-up questionnaire, where possible, with the player and his/her family in conjunction with the Provincial Rugby Union involved.
The SICM will provide the link between the relevant club, school or team, and the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund and SA RUGBY. The SICM will provide additional support and advice to the relevant player, family, school, or club where needed, and where able to do so.
Ultimately the information gathered by this process will help make the game safer for future participants in the game.