Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s life threatening.

A ball thuds against Joe Clarke’s helmet at 89mph.

‘Where are we? I ask. ‘Cardiff’ he replies
‘Who are we playing? Oval Invincibles.
‘Who was bowling at you?’ Muhammed Hasnain
‘Who did we play last week? Southern Brave.
‘How did we get on?’ We lost.
‘How are you feeling?’ Bit of a sore head where it clipped me, but I’ll be ok.

He’s desperate to continue. He’s in the middle of English cricket’s flagship franchise tournament and doesn’t want to miss a ball. He’s one of our best players, so no one in the leadership team will want him to miss a minute.

But Joe doesn’t know what I know. The dangers of a head injury are catastrophic, and they are dangers I’ve witnessed first-hand. I’ve also been in far too many inconclusive debates about whether soreness at the point of impact is a strong enough reason to confirm a concussion diagnosis.

So, it’s decision time.

Concussion or decision to play?

These difficult diagnosis decisions will continue to depend on the experience and knowledge of clinicians to make an on-the-spot call in the sporting setting.

Do they know enough to make those potentially life-saving decisions?

Do they know that the real danger lies in a secondary event on top of an unresolved concussion?

Are they meeting the International Concussion Consensus standards?

I’d put all the money I lost at Cheltenham on some of those answers coming back as a no.

And in the improbable event, they’re a yes. Are the likes of FIFA helping by opposing the use of temporary concussion substitutes in football to allow medics time to assess?

In a lightning-fast landscape, the need for CPD amongst medics on concussion care is as critical as it is urgent to ensure all potential domains of diagnosis are managed optimally.

We know that concussion diagnosis is challenging, with so many factors at play.

We know an incorrect diagnosis can be catastrophic in the short and long term.

So, why are we not prioritising giving clinicians the knowledge they need?

I’m proud of our work to educate and inform, and I’m hopeful that progress can be made.

The recent Concussion and Brain Health Position Statement in Australia advocating that every sports club must have a designated trained concussion officer feels like a progressive and pragmatic step in the right direction.

But, as professionals who understand the hidden dangers, we must work harder to make the world of brain health safer.

People’s lives depend on it.