AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dr. Mark Escott, Austin’s chief medical officer, spoke with KXAN Tuesday to discuss heart health after Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin was still in the ICU Tuesday due to collapsing on the field during Monday Night Football.
In a tweet Monday, Escott said Hamlin could possibly have suffered commotio cordis.
Less than 30 commotio cordis cases a year are reported in the United States, said Escott.
“It’s a hard blow to the chest,” he said. “That hit can cause the heart to go into fibrillation.”
Seconds after Hamlin collapsed, medical staff rushed onto the field and administered CPR and started working to save his life.
Escott said CPR and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) use can increase the chances of survival.
*Editor’s note: Dr. Escott misspoke when answering the second-to-last question of the interview. He said the chance of survival decreases by “10 minutes” but meant to say “10 percent.” The correction is explained in the below paragraph.
According to Dr. Escott, the chance of survival from cardiac arrest decreases by 10% for every minute that passes between when an individual collapses and when they receive a shock from a defibrillator. He stressed the importance of bystander CPR and AEDs in businesses, gyms, and sports facilities in saving lives.
According to the American Heart Association, about 7,000 young people ages 6-19 experience sudden cardiac arrest every year. About 20% of those incidents happen out of the home, often on a court or field.
Escott said he was hopeful after Monday’s incident with Hamlin more people will get AEDs in their businesses and gyms, as well as other locations in the public