A matter of milliseconds could have been the difference between what Damar Hamlin continue to the next play instead of collapsing and needing action to save his life.
“If you get hit in the chest,” said Dr. Scott Jerome, a cardiologist with the University of Maryland Medical System, “if it happens between heartbeats in a very small window, it can put the heart into ventricular fibrillation.
“The heart stops beating,” said Jerome, an assistant professor of medicine.
Also read: Damar Hamlin: Who is the Bills player who suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of the game
Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, was in critical condition Monday night after going into cardiac arrest in a collision with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.
He got up but then collapsed, and as those in the stadium and a “Monday Night Football” audience looked on in horror, medical staff administered CPR and an automated external defibrillator, or AED, was used on him.
He was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after being hit in our game against the Bengals. His heart rate was restored on the field and he was transported to UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment,” the Bills said in a statement around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
“He is currently sedated and in critical condition.”
Jerome, who wasn’t watching the game but watched replays, said Monday night that it appeared Hamlin suffered. an emotion of the heartin Latin “agitation of the heart”, when receiving a blow to the chest at a particular moment in the heart rhythm cycle.
This causes a disruption in the heart’s electrical signal and cardiac arrest.
An emotion of the heart it’s rare, with fewer than 30 cases reported each year, according to an article in the National Library of Medicine.