Dr Chris Jones is a GP with a special interest in sports and exercise medicine. He qualified from Newcastle University in 2007 and completed his GP training in the North East. He has always enjoyed his involvement in recreational sports and enrolled on the MSc sports medicine, exercise and health at UCL after his move to London. ‘I chose this particular masters course in view of the excellent teaching programme, the opportunities it offered and it’s links with ISEH’.
Chris was keen to gain experience in elite rugby and was fortunate to work alongside Dr Ademola Adejuwon, ISEH consultant and Saracens club doctor. An opportunity arose to review the existing guidelines for the management of a tension pnuemothorax. The aim of the research project was to evaluate average chest wall thickness using ultrasound at needle decompression sites across the squad. This was the first time a study of this nature was performed in an athletic population and the results therefore have implications regarding current practise. The research highlighted that forward position players had the greatest chest wall thickness. In this sub-group, current recommended needle lengths are insufficient to provide successful decompression of a tension pneumothax. The research recommended the use of a longer needle length or an alternative chest location to be considered for future pitch side guidelines. The results of this project were presented on the podium at the recent Basem conference.
Many emergency guidelines are devised using evidence gathered from the general public. This research however illustrates some of the physiological differences between athletes and the general public. An evaluation of other sporting guidelines could help ensure best practice.
Chris is currently working with Leyton Orient Football Club and developing his skills in rehabilitation of sporting injuries.