During a Monday night football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.
Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest and received immediate medical attention, and his heartbeat was resuscitated on the field. He was then transported to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati and is currently sedated and in critical condition.
The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) has chimed in with their thoughts on what might have caused Damar Hamlin’s heart attack during that Buffalo Bills game. They think it might have been something called commotio cordis, which happens when you get a hard hit to the chest, and it messes with your heart rhythm.
It causes a chaotic and disorganized cardiac rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. This can lead to sudden cardiac death unless it is immediately reversed, usually through the use of a defibrillator.
The ABC notes that while commotio cordis is a strong possibility in this case, other underlying conditions, such as inheritable heart diseases or problems with the proteins in heart cells, must also be considered.
The ABC is all about the importance of exercise for a healthy life, but they also know that playing sports, especially contact sports, can come with risks. These things only happen sometimes, like only 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 80,000 times, depending on the sport and the player’s age.
The ABC hopes this will help raise awareness about the risks and what we can do to prevent them, like having the right equipment and trained medical staff at games and making sure people know how to do CPR and use defibrillators.
We send our best wishes to Damar, his family, and everyone who knows him and pray for his full recovery.