Health scare sidelines Hawthorn coach

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 27 Mei 2014 | 12.51

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson to sit out indefinitely after health scare. Source: Getty Images

HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson has been sidelined indefinitely after being admitted to hospital with Gullain-Barré syndrome.

Clarkson went to hospital last night with acute back pain after several weeks of discomfort.

He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an inflammation of the nerves from the spinal cord.

Assistant coach Brendon Bolton will step in for Clarkson, set to spend at least a week in hospital, during his recuperation.

Hawthorn chief Stuart Fox said the club will not take any risks with Clarkson's health.

"We're fortunate that Alastair's condition has been detected early, and we're confident he is in the best possible hands under the care of very experienced specialists," Fox said.

"Our primary concern is for Alastair's health and a timeline for his return to coaching is not a consideration at this stage.

Hawthorn has put no timeline on Clarkson's return.

"The club will provide support for Alastair and his family for as long as it takes him to recover," Fox said.

Alastair Clarkson and Luke Hodge with the 2013 premiership cup. Picture: Michael Klein Source: News Limited


Guillain-Barrè syndrome is a form of inflammation in which nerves are effectively attacked by the body's own immune defence system, resulting in a spreading paralysis.

The disorder can be mild, moderate or severe, with life support needed in the worst cases. There is no cure.

Most people recover, but it can take anything from six months to two years or more and some can be left with permanent disabilities.

Estimates vary, but around nine out of 10 people who develop the syndrome survive and approximately 75 to 90 per cent recover completely.

The cause is unknown, but the trigger seems to be certain acute viral or bacterial infections.

The illness strikes between two and eight people in every 100,000 irrespective of gender or age, although it is more common in the 30 to 50 years age group.

Symptoms usually start in the feet or legs and progress up the body and can take a few days or weeks to progress. They can include:

- Muscle weakness and paralysis affecting both sides of the body;

- Jerky, uncoordinated movements;

- Numbness;

- Muscle aches, pains or cramps;

- Odd sensations such as vibrations, buzzing or 'crawling' under the skin;

- Blurred vision;

- Dizziness;

- Breathing problems.

Potentially fatal complications of Guillain-Barrè syndrome include pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis and respiratory failure.

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