Four months later, we finally have some details about the health scare that led to Hamlin’s collapse on the field at a Buffalo Bills game earlier this year.
On January 2nd, Hamlin collapsed in the middle of the game, during what we later learned was cardiac arrest, in their game against the Cincinnati Bengals. CPR was performed and he was later rushed to the hospital. He was released on January 11th, after spending nine days in the hospital in critical condition.
Now, Hamlin has addressed the incident at a press conference. He said that he was diagnosed with a heart condition called commotio cordis. In his own words, he said, “It’s a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest, and five-to-seven seconds later, you fall out,. That’s pretty much what everyone’s seen Jan. 2 of this year.” He continued, “Commotio cordis is the leading cause of death in youth athletes across all sports. So that’s something that I personally will be taking a step in to make a change.”
The NIH describes the condition as, “The sudden focal distortion of the myocardium results in ventricular fibrillation, causing sudden cardiac arrest in an otherwise structurally normal heart.” Basically, it is cardiac arrest immediately following a hit to the chest.
At the time of the episode, Hamlin had just tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, suffering a blow to his chest and triggering the condition.
Once cleared by his medical team, Hamlin intends to make his comeback to the NFL.