Phase 1 - Recognition and immediate treatment

For simplicity, this phase has been divided into two categories: potentially life and limb threatening injuries (these include concussion, head, chest and abdominal injuries and fractures), and non life and limb threatening injuries (these include joint sprains, muscle strains, bruises and abrasions). It is essential that the potentially life and limb threatening injuries are identified and managed appropriately.

Potentially life and limb threatening injuries

In the event of a suspected life or limb threatening injury, it is important that everyone - players, coaches, referees and administrators - knows what to do. This should be documented in an emergency plan. Referees and coaches should err on the side of caution and seek medical assistance if a potentially serious injury is suspected.

  1. Call for help.
  2. Call for an ambulance.
  3. Do not allow the player to move. A player may have suffered a severe neck injury, and yet still be able to move. If the spine is unstable, and they are moved, they run the risk of worsening permanent paralysis.
  4. Speak to the player (without prompting any movement).
  5. Check that the airway is not obstructed.
  6. Check that the player is breathing.
  7. Check that there is an adequate circulation.
  8. Stay with the player and continue communication.
  9. Keep the player warm until professional help arrives.


The injury management information provided in this IWRF Wheelchair Rugby Ready product is intended as a tool to assist in the care and management of injured players. It does not displace the benefit of having suitably qualified personnel available to treat injuries. The IWRF does not accept any responsibility or liability in negligence or otherwise relation to the treatment, care or management of injured players.