What Happened to Damar Hamlin?

Fans were left in shock on January 2nd after what was expected to be a typical Monday night football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. Damar Hamlin, a player of the Buffalo Bills suffered a sudden cardiac arrest after a tackle leading to his collapse on the field. CPR and an AED were deployed on the field before he was transferred to a hospital for further medical care. 

What Happened to Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football? 

On Monday, January 2nd the Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced sudden cardiac arrest after a hit during play. Nine minutes into the game, Damar Hamlin got tackled at full speed by Tee Higgins, a wide receiver of the Bengals. Both players got sent to the ground but stood back up almost immediately. Moments later Hamlin takes two steps and collapses backward to the ground. First responders quickly went to help Damar who had gone into sudden cardiac arrest. As team members surrounded their fellow players to shield him from the fans and commotion, first responders performed CPR and utilized an AED to help restore his heartbeat. All of this occurred on live television with thousands of fans watching from their homes and in the stands as well as both teams. First responders were able to get Damar Hamlin's heart beating again while on the field. Soon after ambulances arrived and took Damar Hamlin off the field, where he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center intensive care unit (ICU) to receive further care. Hamlin was on the field receiving care for 16 minutes before ambulances arrived. With both teams in distress after witnessing a grim injury the game was temporarily suspended until a later agreed-upon date.

What is Cardiac Arrest? 

With many individuals having little knowledge on the subject after witnessing a sudden cardiac event on live TV one of the main questions on everyone's mind is what is cardiac arrest? Sudden cardiac arrest or SCA is a medical emergency that occurs when the heart stops beating unexpectedly. It can happen to people of all ages, including children, infants, and adults. When sudden cardiac arrest does occur, it can often have fatal consequences unless immediate action is taken to revive the person by providing CPR and potentially an electric shock from a defibrillator. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when there is an electrical malfunction in the heart which causes it to stop pumping blood around the body. This means that oxygen-rich blood cannot reach vital organs such as the brain and other tissues, leading to cell death if not treated quickly. 

In most cases, cardiac arrest happens because of an underlying heart condition such as coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmia, or cardiomyopathy. These conditions can cause changes in how electricity flows through the heart muscle which disrupts its normal rhythm and leads to sudden cardiac arrest. Other factors such as drug overdose or trauma can also cause sudden cardiac arrest. But sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Response time is crucial in cardiac emergencies, regardless of the cause CPR should be started immediately and an AED should be retrieved as soon as possible. 

What is Commotio Cordis?

With Damar Hamlin's good physical health and only 24 years old many are wondering why he went into sudden cardiac arrest. One possibility is Damar Hamlin experienced commotio cordis from the full-speed tackle to the chest he received moments before collapsing. Commotio cordis is where a strong blow is taken to the chest during a critical time in the heartbeat cycle causing an electrical disturbance in the heart. The strong blow disrupts the heartbeat and can lead to ventricular fibrillation, which is an abnormal and chaotic heart rhythm that can cause cardiac arrest. Commotio cordis is a rare cause of sudden cardiac arrest happening to less than 30 people per year. The most common causes of commotio cordis are sports injuries or physical altercations where an individual receives a direct blow to the chest area, such as from bats, hockey sticks, and baseballs. When an individual experiences commotio cordis quick action should be taken and prompt treatment with CPR and defibrillation can lead to the best chance of survival.

Buffalo Bills Injury Update: Damar Hamlin

Fans and teammates were left speechless after Hamlin had been taken to the hospital in critical condition. After spending nine days receiving intensive care the football player was slowly recovering. Showing improvement Damar Hamlin has been released from the University of Cincinnati medical center in stable condition and sent home to recover in his hometown with his family and Buffalo Bill team by his side. Now he cheers on his fellow teammates and visits the training center as he rests and recovers, anxious to get back on the field. 

What Happened at the Bills Game

Nine minutes into the start of the game fans were left anxiously in their seats as they witnessed Damar Hamlin suddenly collapse to the ground. Fans and teammates of Hamlin were left speechless when news broke that the beloved athlete had been hospitalized in critical condition. Prayers for a speedy recovery are pouring in from all corners of the nation. Damar Hamlin's sudden cardiac arrest is a reminder of how quickly life can change in an instant. Thankfully, due to the quick response from first responders and medical staff, Damar Hamlin is now recovering at home with his family by his side.