Dr. David Agus, a contributor to CBS News’ “CBS Mornings,” speculated that Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin may have had a “remarkably unusual” ailment when he passed out on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to the Bills, a hit during the game caused Hamlin to go into cardiac arrest. The strike caused him to get up, walk a short distance, and then fall to the ground.
Although the specific reason for Hamlin’s heart-stopping abruptly is still unknown, Agus is certain that he suffered substantial chest trauma “in the exact area, at the same instant during his heartbeat,” which caused his heart to have an arrhythmia — or “not beat efficiently to pump blood to the brain.”
Hamlin’s heart may have been in ventricular fibrillation, according to Agus.
“With commotion cordis, which is this disease, what occurs is that there’s an increase in mortality of 10% for every minute you delay shocking them, resuscitating them,” Agus explained. “They immediately began CPR, which is fantastic. My fingers are crossed that they were able to raise the pulse rate quickly enough to allow blood to reach the brain, preventing any harm.”
According to Agus, only approximately 30 of these incidents occur in the United States each year, mostly involving youngsters.
“Baseball Little League is where it occurs. A pitcher throws a ball, which strikes the victim in the chest “Says Agus. “When anything creates such blunt impact trauma, it occurs in soccer. So, really uncommon.”
According to the Buffalo Bills, Hamlin’s heartbeat was revived on the field. He was then taken to the UC Medical Center for further evaluation and care. He was drugged and in serious condition early on Tuesday.
Agus believes the next day will provide additional information regarding his condition.
As doctors begin to dial down the ventilator, the machine that is breathing for him, to see whether he can breathe on his own, Agus said, “We are going to learn a lot over the next 12 to 24 hours. Our hopes and prayers are that he can.