Georgia cardiologist says signs indicate Damar Hamlin suffered sudden cardiac arrest

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Players and fans alike were in disbelief as Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field just moments after a tackle.

“The way they hovered around him so the cameras couldn’t see him and protected him from that,” said Greg Simms of Atlanta, who watched clips from the game on social media.

The Monday Night Football game was seen live on national television. Following Hamlin’s collapse, medics could be seen performing CPR on Hamlin for nearly 20 minutes, managing to restore his heartbeat before he was loaded into an ambulance. Dr. Jayne Morgan, a cardiologist at Piedmont Health in Atlanta says signs indicate Hamlin, who’s only 24 years old, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

“It is being stopped because of an electrical malfunction in the heart. An electrical malfunction can be caused by any number of things. In this case, we are postulating that it may be caused by the blow to the chest,” said Dr. Morgan.

Seconds count when responding to this type of rare cardiac arrest because oxygen is no longer flowing to your brain. Dr. Morgan says Hamlin who’s currently sedated and listed in critical condition has a long road to recovery.

“The next thing will be is to see if he has some responses. Whether he’s neurologically intact and sometimes that can take a few days,” said Dr. Morgan.

Hamlin’s family, in a statement, is asking that in these next few days members of the NFL and fans come together to pray for their family.

“Two different teams that are playing each other. Hard enough that that could happen, yet they came together. They were no longer two different teams. They were one united team,” said Simms.