Thu Apr 17 20:38:36 SAST 2014
Thu Apr 17 20:38:36 SAST 2014

PSL fury at VV's attack on care

Apr 2, 2012 | Mark Gleeson |   29 comments

THE Premier Soccer League plan to "throw the book" at Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic for alleging a lack of medical care at Premiership matches, but his club have gone on the offensive too, revealing dangerous shortfalls in treating unconscious goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune at the Moses Mabhida Stadium last week.

NO OXYGEN: Itumeleng Khune is stretchered off during the Premiership match between Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium, in Durban. PHOTOS: GALLO IMAGES
'TO BE CHARGED': Vladimir Vermezovic during the Absa Premiership match between Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs.

PSL officials say they plan this week to charge the Serbian-born coach with bringing the league into disrepute following his criticism of the attention Khune received from stadium personnel after a horror clash of heads with Lamontville Golden Arrows striker Thamsanqa Gabuza in last Wednesday's league clash.

But a detailed report on the incident from Chiefs doctor Shaheen Abraham, who took charge of Khune's care in the absence of stadium medical personnel, backs Vermezovic's assertions and could prove embarrassing to the PSL, who moved swiftly at the end of last week to counter the coach's claims but seem to have missed the point in a frenzy of press activity.

Chiefs are angry about an apparent failure in medical procedure immediately following the clash of heads and written to the league to assert: There was no oxygen brought onto the pitch nor offered to Khune by any of the stadium medical staff while he was lying prostrate on the pitch.

"He needed oxygen whilst he was unconscious and had laboured breathing as is basic emergency procedure," says Abraham.

The stretcher bearers had no knowledge of "head injury with loss of consciousness protocol", which translates into being unaware of the dangers of potential spinal injury and knowing not to move a player in case of potential paralysis. Abraham had to stop them from trying to move the unconscious goalkeeper.

Two players were knocked out but only one spinal board was brought on. Abraham stresses in his letter this was the only stretcher available.

Chiefs were not introduced to the stadium doctor nor the Advance Life Support personnel on site at any stage before or after the game.

Normal protocol in the case of player losing consciousness dictates resuscitation procedures, meaning an ALS pack be brought onto the pitch. This did not happen. Abraham had to accompany Khune to hospital, leaving the team without a doctor.

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