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Commotio Cordis; How it can happen to healthy athletes like Damar Hamlin

Commotio cordis is a rare but serious condition that occurs when an individual is struck in the chest by a hard object, usually a ball or other projectile. The impact can disrupt the normal electrical activity of the heart, leading to sudden cardiac arrest.

While commotio cordis can occur in any sport that involves a ball or other projectile, it is most commonly seen in contact sports like football, such as recent events involving Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, baseball, and lacrosse. It can also occur in non-contact sports such as ice hockey and soccer, as well as during recreational activities like skateboarding and rollerblading.

Symptoms of commotio cordis may include a brief loss of consciousness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a rapid or irregular pulse. If left untreated, commotio cordis can be fatal.

To reduce the risk of commotio cordis, it is important for athletes and coaches to follow proper safety protocols and to wear appropriate protective gear. This includes wearing chest protectors or other protective padding, as well as following rules and regulations set by the governing body of the sport.

If someone is suspected of having commotio cordis, it is critical to call 911 immediately and to begin CPR if the individual is unresponsive and not breathing. Early recognition and treatment of commotio cordis can greatly improve the chances of survival.

In conclusion, commotio cordis is a rare but serious condition that can occur in sports and other activities involving a hard object. Proper safety protocols and quick action can help prevent and manage this potentially life-threatening condition.

Our mission at Chicago CPR Academy is to teach as many people as possible how to save life. Quick recognition that someone needs CPR will increase the chances of survival along with quick application of an AED


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Chicago CPR Academy





1300 Meadow Rd, Lower Level

Northbrook, IL 60062

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
​​Saturday: 10am - 2pm
​Sunday: Closed


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