SAN DIEGO — Kaiser Permanente Cardiologist Jeffrey Cavendisih joined the FOX 5 Morning News to discuss the cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin.
You can watch the entire interview in the video player above.
Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, prompting medical personnel to administer CPR to him on the field.
Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remains in critical condition, according to a statement released by the Bills Tuesday morning.
Dr. Cavendisih says a hard hit could cause someone’s heart to stop.
“There was a commotio cordis event in 1998, Chris Pronger is an ice hockey player, and I played ice hockey in college, that was near and dear to my heart, and as soon as Damar took that hit, then when we saw him go down, I immediately was concerned that was potentially what happened,” Dr. Cavendisih said.
Commotio cordis is a phenomenon in which a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes sudden death in the absence of cardiac damage, according to the American Heart Association.
“He got hit at such a point in his cardiac cycle that it caused his heart to kind of, not necessarily skip a beat, but it hit the heart in such a way that it caused this electrical disturbance to make his heart stop,” Dr. Cavendisih said.
Dr. Cavendisih called it “very rare and very unfortunate,” but he thought the medical staff on the field did a “phenomenal job.”
FOX 5’s Domenick Candelieri contributed to this story.