Prisma Health doctors react to Damar Hamlin’s injury

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Monday night, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter of his team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The injury to Damar Hamlin was witnessed on live TV by millions who were watching Monday Night Football including many here in the Midlands, who may have more questions than answers.

“What’s striking to me is that it looked like a regular football play. It was a tackle with some contact to the center of the chest,” said Dr. Michael Cryer, Prisma Health cardiologist. 

“This is probably the worst type of scenario that we see, when someone’s heart stops. It’s scary. It’s something we prepare for but hope never happens,” said Dr. Jeffrey Guy with Prisma Health sports medicine. 

“The first thing I’d like to stress is that what happened to Mr. Hamlin is incredibly rare,” added Dr. Zoe Foster, team physician for University of South Carolina athletics. 

However, Prisma Health physicians warn anyone who participates in football or other sports that there is a risk of injury. 

“With every snap of the ball, everyone on the field has the opportunity to get hurt. That’s just the type of sport it is,” Dr. Guy said. “These days, soccer and basketball are even aggressive sports.”

Doctors say that allowing your kids to play sports is a personal decision but one you should talk about with experts. 

“I would encourage parents to reach out to their child’s physician if they have questions or concerns,” Foster said. “Also, make sure your child is up to date on screenings and has a pre-participation physical before competing in sports.”

At any level of athletics, injuries happen. That is why the University of South Carolina athletic department has an emergency action plan. 

“This spells out for our staff and coaches where we keep the AED so people can find it in case of an emergency. We practice this plan annually,” Foster said.

One cardiologist says that time is of the essence in the case of an emergency such as Monday night’s. 

“The ones that do the best and recover are those who have early resuscitation efforts,” Dr. Cryer said. “We witnessed that last night.”

A Prisma psychiatrist advises talking to your kids about the incident on a level they can understand. He also urges adults to not dwell on the injury to the Bills safety. 

“At this point in time, it’s out of our control,” said Prisma psychiatrist Dr. Peter Loper Jr. “The more we engage with that story, it enforces our absence of control. That exacerbates distress.”

Those who have decided to do something in their control have donated around 4 million dollars to Hamlin’s charity, a toy drive in his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Categories: Local News, Richland