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Facial Lacerations

Facial lacerations are common but generally not serious injuries in football.

The concern about facial lacerations is that serious blood-borne viruses - HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C have the potential to be spread whenever there is blood present. Because of this, Sports Medicine Australia recommend the implementation of "Blood Rules" in all levels of sport from professional to amateur.

The rules are:
  • STOP: A player who is bleeding or has blood on their clothing must immediately leave the playing field or court and seek medical attention.
  • DRESS: The bleeding must be stopped, the wound dressed and blood on the player’s body or cleaned off before they return to the game.
  • CLEAN: Play must cease until all blood on the ground or equipment is cleaned up.

Download Blood Rules OK booklet produced by Sports Medicine Australia
Blood bin send off
Lagi Setu of the Broncos is sent to the blood bin during the round seven NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium on April 23, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.
(April 23, 2010 - Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac)

BLOOD BIN RULE FOR FACIAL LACERATION