Report highlights dangers of modifying helmets

February 15, 2019

A helmet lies on the ground. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy.

Hurlers have been warned of the risks posed by modifying their helmets after a club player in Offaly suffered an horrific hand injury from a metal bar in a modified face guard.

A paper in the February edition of the Irish Medical Journal describes how a metal spike protruding from another player's headgear pieced the player's hand. The injured played travelled, with the helmet attached to his hand, to the emergency department of the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore where the metal spike was removed. The nail bed of his ring finger also had to be repaired.

The injury has led to calls for referees and coaches to check before games that helmets have not been modified.

“These modifications are responsible for some of the most serious injuries sustained in hurling, ie, penetrating wounds,” medics warn.

"As footwear studs are checked prior to rugby or soccer and gloves inspected in combat sports, the inspection of safety equipment should become a mandatory pre-match checklist for any referee or match officials”.

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