When asked about a specific cause of Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, a University of Cincinnati doctor said tests are still underway to determine it.
“The answer to that is that that workup is ongoing. We do not have definitive answers as to the etiology of the arrest, and tests will continues to progress,” said Dr. William Knight, lead physician and professor of emergency medicine at UC Health.
Knight said they aren’t ruling out commotio cordis, but it is too soon to tell without further testing.
Commotio cordis — when severe trauma to the chest disrupts the heart’s electrical charge and causes dangerous fibrillations – is an “incredibly rare event that happens. It’s also a diagnosis of exclusion in our world, which basically means we have to rule out many other more common or more deadly or more fixable type conditions before we can settle in on an ultimate diagnosis such as that,” said Knight.
“Is it on the list of considerations? It is, but he has many other things that we need to work through before a final etiology or cause for this arrest can be definitively defined,” Knight added.
Due to privacy concerns, Hamlin’s doctors repeatedly declined to answer specific questions about results of tests Hamlin is undergoing.
Doctors said review is still pending, and they weren’t able to provide detailed answers about how long Hamlin received CPR, Hamlin’s current oxygen level, whether an echocardiogram done, whether Hamlin has seen a specialist about underlying rhythmic or genetic causes, or whether there was damage to other organs such as the kidneys or liver.