Referee Update - Kevin Johnson Not Seriously Hurt

ARGYLE doctor Paul Giles paid tribute to the treatment given to referee Kevin Johnson after the official was poleaxed during the Pilgrims’ 2-1 home win over Colchester United...

...which maintained their four-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League Two.
Kevin was floored in a collision with Argyle forward Jimmy Spencer towards the end of the match which the Greens won with a late goal from substitute Ryan Donaldson.

The physios from both sides attended the stricken referee – who Paul said was doing well following his accident – until the Argyle doctor arrived to supervise his removal, with the help of Argyle paramedics, and transportation to Derriford Hospital. 

“It’s exactly as we would have wanted to do,” said Paul. “He was immobilised by physios from both teams and, by the time I got on the pitch, he had neck controls; spinal immobilisation was ongoing; and we got the paramedics on with the equipment. 

“He was log-rolled and full spinal care was done. I was very happy with how that went from everyone involved.” 

Paul said that he had no major concerns about any serious injury and that the procedures followed by the medics were designed to ensure Kevin’s safety. 

“It was probably an overreaction but it is part of our protocols that, if anyone complains of a neck or back injury, we treat them on a spinal board,” he said. 

“The worst case scenario was that there would be a small break in the neck and, if you immobilise it, it will be fine; if you don’t – if you move him around – you can actually create damage. 

“That’s protocol. So’s oxygen; if you have got a spinal injury, then higher levels of oxygen help, so that, again, was totally precautionary. His pain levels were relatively low. 

“We don’t have any major concerns about him. There was a rumour that had a fit – there were no fits. He was alert and talking right throughout the whole incident. 

“There was an accidental collision and he was struck in the back and had a hyper-extension injury to his neck, and heard a click. He was alert; he was orientated; he didn’t lose consciousness. 

“He was moving all four limbs; had normal sensation, no signs of any spinal injury. Just as a precaution, because he was saying he had pain in his lower back and stiff neck, we put him on the spinal board, put him on oxygen, and he was taken to Derriford in an ambulance, where they will do an assessment and remove him from the spinal board to see if they need to do any further investigations.” 

Referees assessor Craig Cox also praised Paul and the physios of both teams for their treatment of Kevin. 

He said: “We are very, very grateful for the actions of both clubs and the Plymouth Argyle doctor for their prompt attention to him.”