Dear Colleagues in Ringside Medicine,
I am reaching out concerning a four-part series by Thomas Hauser about the New York State Athletic Commission, recently published in The Ring. In part one, Mr. Hauser criticizes NYSAC's Red Flag Policy, calling it "a step in the right direction," but "not enough.” This assessment, in which Hauser gives the impression that unstable fighters are simply held at the venue for observation, is based on either a misrepresentation or a misunderstanding of the NYSAC policy.
I am writing on behalf of the Association of Ringside Physicians to express our support for the NYSAC Red Flag Policy. This policy bears multiple similarities to the post-bout evaluation system designed by the ARP, in which fighters are re-evaluated 30 minutes after their initial post-bout exam. Both systems feature mandatory re-checks, allowing both redundancy and a measurement of change, and adding another layer of safety for fighters who would not be sent to the hospital immediately. Both policies also explicitly delineate a pathway for the escalation of care when warranted.
Establishing consensus on what constitutes quality athlete care is a critical part of our work as the ARP, and the NYSAC's Red Flag Policy is consistent with the standard of care for which the Association of Ringside Physicians advocates.
The NYSAC policy is listed below for your reference. Please find links to Mr. Hauser's article and the NYSAC's medical policy and procedures as well.
Don Muzzi, MD
President, The Association of Ringside Physicians