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Medical experts help us understand Damar Hamlin's condition and why CPR is critical

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 13:11:23-05

We're taking a closer look at Buffalo Bills' Safety Damar Hamlin and the condition he's currently in. We spoke to a few medical experts to see what they think may have led to his collapse during Monday Night Football's game last night.

Commotio Cordis, a rare but deadly phenomenon as medical professionals say could be why Hamlin fell, seconds after tackling a Cincinnati Wide Receiver last night.

As Orlando Emergency Medical physician, Dr. Rajiv Bahl describes Commotio Cordis, "blunt trauma to the chest wall, causing a dysrhythmia or an abnormality with the electrical condition of the heart." This may happen during a very vulnerable point in the cardiac cycle.

Cardiologist Dr. Harsh Patel says, "If it's not a heart rhythm disorder, since they would have been screened for it before, it's the next thing that comes to mind for cardiac arrest on the field." Dr. Patel gave his best medical diagnosis, knowing elite-level athletes are screened for threatening heart conditions.

But for people who endure Commitio Cordis, Dr. Dinesh Sharma, Section Head of Electrophysiology at NCH Healthcare System, says it has nothing to do with the initial condition of the heart. "Helmet, or a ball or a punch, you know potentially happening during that vulnerable window where the hearts recharging."

While this is seen in less than 30 people a year in the United States and can't be prevented, Dr. Sharma also adds, "Time is very critical and CPR should start immediately."

Even for First Responders here in Southwest Florida, The Iowa Fire Department stresses the importance of knowing CPR and urging people to sign up for classes whether it be through them or another group that provides training.

As prayers continue to pour in for Hamlin's recovery, the Miami Dolphins and The Hard Rock Stadium lit up in Buffalo Bills blue and red in Hamlin's honor.

Tonight the Dolphins Tweet... "PRAYING FOR YOU #3"