Soccer Player Damar Hamlin Remains in Critical Condition After Collapse on Field – NBC Denver

The hit seemed harmless, at least to professional football, but it triggered a terrifying result.

Moments after a seemingly forgettable tackle during a Monday night football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, Damar Hamlin collapsed while going into cardiac arrest.

Anguished players from both teams watched and prayed, while a national audience watched and waited. Hamlin collapsed on the field of Paycor Stadium after the heavy collision and was administered CPR by medical staff for approximately 10 minutes before he was taken away by ambulance.

Security for 24-year-old Bills remains in critical condition at the hospital. But it was the actions of medical staff at the stadium, beginning CPR within minutes of Hamlin’s collapse and restarting his heartbeat, that may have helped keep him alive.

“Those are critical factors, and that time is really measured in seconds or minutes,” said Dr. Julio Panza, chief of cardiology at Westchester Medical Center. He praised the crucial recognition and response from the staff.


In answering what could cause cardiac arrest at Hamlin Camp, Dr. Panza focused on two factors: pre-existing conditions and trauma. Looking at the immediate aftermath of the play, he said he saw signs of commotio cordis, that is, assuming Hamlin has no pre-existing conditions.

“It is rare, but it has been described in athletes and always as a consequence of blunt trauma to the thorax,” said Dr. Panza.

Blunt trauma to the heart creates the condition called commotio cordis, which is described as “sudden arrhythmic death caused by low/mild impact to the chest wall,” according to the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute, which focuses on prevent sudden death death in sport. The institute said the condition occurs primarily with younger athletes who compete in projectile sports and receive strong blows to the chest with things like baseballs, lacrosse balls and hockey pucks.

Simply put, a blow to the chest triggers an abnormal heart rhythm that sets the course for cardiac arrest.

It would not be the first time an athlete has suffered from the condition. NHL star Chris Pronger suffered it when he received a puck to the heart in a 1998 Stanley Cup playoff game, which produced an equally terrifying scene. On Tuesday, he tweeted his hope that Damar survives this, just like he did.

What caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest? Dr. Panza said one thing is very clear when it comes to his chances of survival or recovery.

“The most important thing is the amount of time that passed without blood flowing to the brain,” he said.

As doctors examine and treat Hamlin, his family said in a statement that “we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this difficult time…your generosity and compassion mean so much to us.”

Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, provided an update on the Buffalo Bills’ safety Tuesday night and said Hamlin remains sedated in the ICU at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He added that Hamlin is on a ventilator but has improved from 100% oxygen needed to 50% oxygen needed.

“They’re trying to get him to breathe on his own. So we’re taking it day by day,” Glenn told NFL Network. “I’m very, very grateful for the medical staff that have been working with him. They’ve been really amazing in helping with his recovery.”

Glenn revealed that Hamlin had to be revived twice: once on the field and once in the hospital.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.