Combative head injuries

Some sporting head injuries can result in a confused and agitated casualty. This is in part due to disorientation when recovering from being unconscious and sometimes a lack of oxygen if the player’s airway has been blocked due to the position they were in when unconscious. The casualty can then be a risk to the rescuer and other team mates until the agitation settles, often over about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

If a head injured player becomes combative, simply release MILS and talk to them from a safe distance. Remain in control of other people who may be around and may try to restrain the player, which will only make the situation worse. Do not try to maintain MILS in a combative casualty as this will simply put more stress on the neck. Once the player calms down, MILS can be reapplied and a DR ABC assessment performed.