Buffalo Bills defensive backmay have suffered from a “remarkably rare” illness when he collapsed on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus told ” CBS Mornings”.
The Bills said Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the game. The video shows that after the hit, he got up, took a few steps and fell to the ground.
Although it’s not yet clear what caused Hamlin’s heart to suddenly stop beating, Agus believes he suffered blunt force trauma to his chest “in the exact right place, at the exact right time during his heartbeat”, which caused the heart to arrhythmia – “is not beating efficiently to push blood to the brain.”
Agus suspects that Hamlin’s heart was in ventricular fibrillation.
“What we know with commotio cordis, which is this condition, is that every minute that you delay shocking them, resuscitating them, what happens is there’s a 10% increase in mortality,” Agus said. “They immediately started CPR, which is great. Hopefully they were able to get the heart rate back up early enough to be able to get blood flowing to the brain so there was no damage there. “
Only about 30 of those cases occur in the United States each year, mostly in children, according to Agus.
“It happens in Little League baseball. A ball is thrown by a pitcher and hits the person in the chest,” Agus said. “It happens in football where there is something that causes this blunt trauma. So remarkably rare.”
Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field, according to the Buffalo Bills. On Tuesday, the team confirmed Hamlin spent the night in the intensive care unit and remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received so far,” the team said in a Tweeter.
the rest of the game was postponed due to the injury. The NFL said Tuesday that the game would not resume this week.
In oneOn Tuesday, Hamlin’s family thanked first responders and medical professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for their “exceptional care.”
They also expressed their “gratitude for the love and support given to Damar during this difficult time”.
“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us,” the family said. “Please keep Damar in your prayers.”
Agus anticipates that more will be known about Hamlin’s condition the next day.
“We’re going to find out a lot over the next 12 to 24 hours as they start to turn off the breathing machine for him, the ventilator, to see if he can breathe on his own, and our hopes and prayers are that he can,” Agus said.