The FSEM calls for a National Sporting Injury Register to encourage safe sporting and exercise practices for the general public.
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK supports the need for a National Injury Register to cover all sports in order to identify and inform activities that may pose injury risk. Such a register would provide key data for Governing Bodies in developing and assessing the effectiveness of injury prevention strategies including, when necessary, changes to the rules of a sport. The Faculty also acknowledges the need to apply accepted sporting risk management principles to age-group sport, including rugby union(1).
The lack of comprehensive injury statistics is a feature of almost all youth sports. Sport related hospital-treated injuries are more than five times more common than road traffic injuries for children aged 15 or younger(2). Road traffic injury prevention is a well-resourced public health issue in the UK, but sports injury identification and prevention is not. The FSEM welcomes opinion and debate on this, including the BMJ article, The unknown risks of youth rugby(3). However, it should also be noted that a growing number of individual sports governing bodies and sporting leagues are currently completing high-quality peer reviewed work in this field(4).
Dr Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine comments: “There is a clear need in the UK to work towards the set-up of a National Injury Register for sport. This is essential not only for established sports, clubs and teams, but to also encourage and manage sporting and exercise practices for the general public within safe limits. The challenge is identifying how this can be done and how it can be delivered.
“The barriers to developing a National Injury Register are principally outside the influence of national governing bodies for sport, therefore we need to look towards relevant organisations, regulatory bodies, colleges, faculties and public health authorities to collaborate and create a solution. Funding will also be an important part of this.”
The FSEM is already supporting and developing research strategies with key partners, such as the National Institute of Exercise and Health, to demonstrate the risks and benefits of sport and exercise to the health of the population.
Funding is now needed to support initiatives like this and the creation of a National Injury Register, in order for popular sport and exercise to be developed and encouraged within safe limits, including youth sport.
2. Finch CF, Wong Shee A, Clapperton A. Time to add a new priority target for child injury prevention? The case for an excess burden associated with sport and exercise injury: population-based study. BMJ Open 2014;4:e005043. doi:10.1136/bmjopen 2014-005043
Notes to Editors:
- The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine was launched in 2006 and is an intercollegiate faculty of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- The Faculty has over 560 Members and Fellows, not including medical students
- There are around 94 Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctors on the GMC specialist register
- The FSEM not only sets standards in SEM but oversees research, training, curriculum and assessment of SEM Doctors, including providing revalidation services
- Sport and Exercise Medicine involves the medical care of injury and illness in sport, exercise, rehabilitation and the work place. It requires accurate diagnoses, careful clinical examination, experience and knowledge of sport and exercise specific movement patterns. SEM practitioners work in a variety of settings across primary, secondary and tertiary care. The specialty has a large scale application in improving the health of the general public through, prevention and management of illness via exercise advice and prescription. Further information about the specialty can be found in the Media & Resources section at www.fsem.co.uk
For further information contact Beth Cameron, PR & Communications for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine;
Email: email@example.com, Tel: 0131 527 3498, Mobile: 07551903702