(WETM) – Health experts are now giving more insight after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s cardiac event, which happened during the Bills-Bengals game on Monday, January 2nd.
According to a statement from the Buffalo Bills, Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the Buffalo Bills’ game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. He is currently in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“The cardiac arrest was a very rare complication of blunt chest trauma,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, cardiologist at Touro University. “The likelihood is Damar Hamlin’s heart was completely healthy, and that the trauma created an ‘electrical accident.’ This is more common in baseball or soccer than football.”
During a game of football, it is exceedingly rare for a player to suffer cardiac arrest. This injury happens 30 or less times a year. The conditions that lead to cardiac arrest typically vary, but one common condition is commotio cordis, or an agitation of the heart.
Recognizing cardiac arrest is also not easy, especially for football players. Arnot Health Physician Dr. Jeremy Lux says it is important to have the knowledge that cardiac arrest can happen occur during a sports game.
“The brain is not getting adequate oxygen or blood flow,” said Dr. Lux. “The sooner he can get that reestablishment of blood flow…you can temporize it with CPR…and then getting that shock in order to get the heart beat going again…the better.”
After recovery, there is typically no long term damage to the heart, but there can be a lot of damage to the brain. Noticeable recovery takes about 24 to 48 hours.