A Nelson schoolgirl rugby player is recovering in hospital after suffering a serious head injury in a match.
Rebel Hana, 16, was in a critical condition when she was admitted to Nelson Hospital last Wednesday. She was injured in a tackle during a 10-a-side match for her Nayland College team against Motueka High School, but played on after a medical check.However, her condition deteriorated on the ride home.
Once home, her mother, Bobby Hana, who works in brain injury rehabilitation, recognised her daughter's symptoms and rushed her to hospital.
She is questioning why her daughter was not taken straight to hospital after the tackle, which spectators told her could be heard across the field.
She said Rebel was experiencing nausea, dizziness and amnesia when assessments were made at the hospital. A CAT scan revealed a left temporal haematoma.
"The way the whole situation was dealt with by the ref, by the medic, I'm not happy with it at all," she said.
A hospital spokeswoman said last night Rebel was in a comfortable condition but would remain in hospital over the weekend for observation.
Motueka Regional Ambulance paramedic Danny Glover said he performed an initial concussion check on Rebel before she returned to play.
Immediately after the match, Mr Glover performed another check and told Rebel and her brother to monitor her condition.
Mr Glover, the attending paramedic with more than 20 years' experience attending rugby matches, said the contact in the tackle was "fairly minor". He said if he had not seen the incident from where he was standing just 10 metres away, no-one would have known there was anything wrong, as both girls got up and began to follow the play.
The nature of delayed concussion meant symptoms were not present straight away, he said.
Nayland College coach Francey Kara said the referee should have halted the game and Rebel should have been taken to hospital in an ambulance, because "she wasn't quite there" and seemed "dizzy".
Tasman Rugby Union operations manager Mike Kerrisk said he was reviewing the incident but was happy with the actions the referee and the paramedic took when the incident occurred. He said a judgment call was made at the time and the injury was not deemed to be serious.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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