Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest cause

Various medical doctors have revealed the speculated underlying cause behind Damar Hamlin’s devastating cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football. According to experts, the second-year Buffalo Bills Safety has a “healthy heart”. However, after receiving a tackle from Cincinnati Bengals’ Tee Higgins, Hamlin’s heart experienced a sudden irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. The arrhythmia that took place seconds after getting hit on the chest resulted in what doctors would call Commotio Cordis or basically severe trauma to the chest area which lead to Hamlin getting a cardiac arrest.

Related: NFL: What happened to Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin? Will he be able to play again?
Damar Hamlin
Photo Courtesy of The Washington Post

What triggered the arrhythmia?

NFL players are akin to getting a blow. Indeed this is arguably the most dangerous contact sport in history. But, it was at 5:58 of the first quarter of the Bills versus Bengals game that lightning struck twice.

The bump to the chest by an offensive player is a normal thing. However, according to medical experts, that bump happened at the perfect spot in the chest area (near the location of the heart) at exactly the worst time and exactly the worst moment of the cardiac cycle. As a result, it was until a few seconds before the bump provoked an arrhythmia.

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Commotio Cordis: How rare is this condition and how high is the survival rate?

For everyone’s information, Commotio Cordis is extremely rare and only about two dozen cases are reported annually in the U.S. According to UNC Health Talk, it is common to contact sports such as martial arts. Even though this condition is very rare, it’s one of the common causes of cardiac arrest in young athletes. Mind you, a very conditioned, healthy, and young individual can still acquire this condition given the circumstances.

Commotio Cordis
Photo Courtesy of Life In The Fast Lane

As per the National Library of Medicine, it was found that in an event where a person suffering from Commotio Cordis (a sample of a total of 190 persons) receives CPR within three (3) minutes, the survival rate is about 25%. But, if it reaches more than that allotted time, the survival rate drops to 3%. In Damar Hamlin’s case, he was resuscitated for about 9 minutes which is in fact longer than expected. As of this writing, Hamlin is still in intensive care and is still in critical condition.


In light of recent events, we are also praying to Damar Hamlin and hope for a speedy recovery. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

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Sources: CTV News, NBC News, CBS News, UNC Health Talk, National Health Library
John Micheal (sometimes called JM or Mike) has been writing various types of professional articles for almost 2 years now. He is an avid sports fan and has been following the NBA since the early 2000s. He also loves playing a lot of video games like DotA 2, Valorant, but MMOs have a special places in JM's heart. Not only is he a huge fan of basketball and video games, he also loves movies and tv shows. He is a huge MARVEL and MCU fan plus he is into a lot of superhero stuff.