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Damar Hamlin in critical condition after cardiac arrest

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It’s still unclear what led to Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest – a condition that results from electrical disturbances that cause the heart to suddenly stop beating properly. Death can occur quickly if help is not rendered immediately.

It is not the same as a heart attack or heart failure.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained that when the heart is not beating well, fluid can sometimes back up into the lungs and prevent medical staff from oxygenating the patient. Thus, they will turn the person onto their stomach in a lying position to facilitate breathing.

Gupta also said that it appears Hamlin is still suffering from significant heart dysfunction and his heart cannot pump enough blood.

One of the treatment options is to reduce the body’s demand for oxygenated blood.

“So you want to improve the amount of circulation, but in the meantime you can also reduce the demand by sedating someone, keeping them on a ventilator,” he said.
“Sometimes they even use cooling agents, hypothermia, to practically put the body into a state of near hibernation, so it doesn’t demand as much oxygenated blood. That’s part of the reason he’s also reportedly on a ventilator.

Hamlin’s condition: The Buffalo Bills safety, 24, is on a ventilator to relieve some of the pressure on his lungs, which have been damaged, according to his uncle Dorrian Glenn.

Doctors told Glenn his nephew had also been ‘turned onto his stomach’ in hospital to help with the blood on his lungs, he said, adding: ‘It seems he has a positive trend .”

On-field injuries are not uncommon in the NFL, which often returns to play even after severe cases. But several current and former players said Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was particularly troubling as medical staff battled to save his life as fans and players watched.

Read more here.

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Cnn

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