Why do athletes stop their hearts during a match?
Recent developments in the field of medicine have not only increased the average life expectancy of all mankind, but also significantly improved the quality of life of mankind. In parallel, significant progress has been made in the area of athletes’ health. Injuries that a few decades ago could have put an end to an athlete’s sports career are now being treated in almost a few weeks. On the other hand, recently especially young athletes have begun to show heart problems that they experience in competitions. The heart problems faced by professional athletes, who are expected to be much healthier overall than other people, seem to have increased to a level that cannot be ignored in recent times. Okay, but why? Why do young athletes suddenly have a cardiac arrest during a match? Let’s look at the details together…
American football star Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest is yet another reminder of the heart problems young athletes face during competition.
A young athlete playing for the Buffalo Bills collapsed to the ground after colliding with an opponent during an NFL game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Medical crews who arrived on the field with the 24-year-old athlete said that Hamlin was in “cardiac arrest.” In other words, the star football player’s heart stopped and the blood circulation in his body was cut off.
Hamlin is still in critical condition. However, it is not yet clear why the actor’s heart stopped. Finally, this sad event that took place in the United States, once again made me think about why the hearts of young athletes stop during the match.
According to some experts, blunt trauma is the cause of the cardiac arrest of players during a match.
Blunt trauma is a condition resulting from physical trauma caused by physical blows, assaults, or injury during sports competitions or falls. As a result of these injuries, athletes develop Komose Kordis, that is, cardiac arrest due to physical impact.
Physical impacts at sports competitions cause cardiac arrest, that is, cardiac arrest and cessation of blood circulation in the body. Experts say it’s different from a heart attack. Because during a heart attack, blood does not flow to the heart muscle.
During a match, particularly strong blows to the chest area can cause serious heart problems.
It is not yet known if Hamlin received damage to the heart or other internal organs during the fight with his opponent. However, it is known that such damage can be caused by blows in sports matches. What stopped Hamlin’s heart during the match may have been damage to his heart from the collision.
Another disease that causes cardiac arrest in some athletes during a match is a genetic disorder called “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be defined as the inability of the heart to perform its function of pumping blood due to overgrowth and thickening of the heart. Moreover, it is an extremely dangerous and insidious sports disease.
Because more often than not, athletes with this disease do not experience any signs of health problems. Therefore, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause sudden cardiac arrest and even death. Death due to cardiac arrest is called “sudden death syndrome”.
In recent years, athletes have significantly increased the frequency of cardiac arrests.
According to a 2016 US study, 100-150 cases of cardiac arrest occur each year in the United States alone. Last year, Danish footballer Christian Eriksen died of a serious heart problem during a football match. Eriksen later announced that neither he nor his family had heart disease.
The fact that Damar Hamlin recently had heart problems during a match indicates that the incidence has increased markedly in the last period.
On the other hand, there are even those who attribute the increase in the incidence to Covid vaccines, although they have no scientific basis!
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