Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest Sheds Light on Potential Hazard


Photo by Schetm/Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain

Damar Hamlin, safety with the Buffalo Bills is taken off the field by an ambulance after collapsing on the field due to a cardiac arrest from a tackle to the chest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023.

On January second, during a Monday night football game between the Bengals and the Bills, a collision with wide receiver Tee Higgins sent the Bill’s Damar Hamlin, a 24-year-old safety, into cardiac arrest. 

Hamlin received CPR and other treatment for more than nine minutes before he was taken to a Cincinnati hospital where his heartbeat was restored. The ESPN broadcast went right into commercials, as it  normally would during injury timeouts. When the program resumed, everybody watching could see Bills and Bengals players and staff openly weeping as the medical staff was trying everything they could to bring Hamlin’s heartbeat back. Even ESPN announcer Joe Buck was too stunned to speak.

Damar Hamlin’s incident shocked the entire NFL. Fans and players from around the league showed their concern. Both quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford gave huge amounts of money to Hamlin’s charity. Brady donated $10,000, and Stafford donated $12,000. Bill’s and Bengal’s fans came together to pray for Hamlin outside of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

This incident has drawn a lot of attention to these kinds of injuries in sports. Even though injuries like this are very rare, their effect could be devastating.

According to USA Football, sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is the leading cause of death among young athletes during exercise. Something like this happening to an NFL player on live TV could worry the parents of young athletes, and the athletes themselves. 

One thing that most of Longfellow students did in elementary school was the Jump Rope for Heart Challenge, to raise money for the  American Heart Association (AHA). According to the AHA, some ways to lessen the risk of SCA are to get the proper amount of sleep, eat healthy foods, and try to maintain your body weight.