RWU HQ – No, we’re not talking about the Breathalyzers used by police officers to see whether a person has been driving under after being “over-served.”No… These Breathalyzers can test whether or not an athlete has a concussion!
According to BBC News, there is a new proposal for a breath test to be used on the sidelines in sports. This breath test can detect chemicals which “indicate a brain injury when found in the bloodstream.”
If these Breathalyzers do make it to the sidelines during rugby matches and other contact sports, it could be a major step for the sports medicine industry. Until now, athletic trainers and doctors are limited on tests they can perform on the sideline.
“These biochemical compounds from the brain can be measured in a number of different fluids – for example, saliva and breath,” said Prof. Tony Belli, a neurosurgeon and medical researcher from the University of Birmingham, according to BBC News. “At the moment a breathalyser is tuned to detect alcohol – but you can re-engineer it to detect other things. And you need to refine the technology at the same time, to detect very small amounts.”
The biggest aspect of sports this would impact, wouldn’t be the prevention of concussions but the limitation of concussions. With these new Breathalyzers, they could prevent an athlete from re-entering a game after they have suffered from a concussion. This could limit the damage from the injury and in return, allow athletes to return to the field quicker and safer.
What kind of impact do you think these Breathalyzers could have on the game of rugby and other contact sports?