Commotio Cordis in 2023.
Since the nationally televised cardiac arrest of American National Football League player Damar Hamlin in January 2023, commotio cordis has come to the forefront of public attention. Commotio cordis is defined as sudden cardiac arrest due to direct trauma to the precordium resulting in ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. While the precise incidence of commotio cordis is not known due to a lack of standardized, mandated reporting, it is the third most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes, with more than 75% of cases occurring during organized and recreational sporting events. Given that survival is closely tied to how quickly victims receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation, it is crucial to raise awareness of commotio cordis so that athletic trainers, coaches, team physicians, and emergency medical personnel can rapidly diagnose and treat this often-fatal condition. Broader distribution of automated external defibrillators in sporting facilities as well as increased presence of medical personnel during sporting events would also likely lead to higher survival rates.
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