Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals following a hard play tackle, resulting in cardiac arrest. Hamlin had a fight with Bengals catcher Tee Higgins: upon getting up, he immediately collapsed backward onto his back.
In short, the players of the two teams gathered around the 24-year-old, who immediately received resuscitation from medical operators. The match was abandoned after 21 minutes of play. The NFL later announced that the conditions of the boy, hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati facility, are critical.
Hamlin lost consciousness and was immediately taken to medical care, who performed CPR and used the defibrillator. In the tackle, Higgins' shoulder struck Hamlin's chest, causing Blunt Trauma. Direct contact between the chest and the helmet of the opponent at high speed probably caused the stunning of the heart tissue.
What happens is that the heart goes from a normal sinus rhythm to an irregular rhythm, which is not compatible with life. This is typically ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, and this usually causes cardiac arrest.
Then the heart enters a rhythm that instead of being a concentric contraction, a fibrillation occurs and the heart stops pumping blood. The body does not receive oxygen and does not receive tissue perfusion, so there is loss of consciousness.
For this the player passed out immediately after getting up.
What happened after the impact
The Cincinnati stadium audience fell silent. The direction censored the images on the pitch. The player was taken by ambulance around 15 minutes after collapsing on the pitch.
The paramedics gave him oxygen. The match was subsequently suspended. The crowd applauded the two teams as they left the pitch. Hamlin's mother, who was in the stands, immediately came down from the stands and got into the ambulance to stand next to her son.
Bengals fans have begun a prayer vigil. Video footage shows Hamlin was shot in the upper chest. Hamlin, drafted by Buffalo in 2001 after playing in Pittsburgh, had become a staple of the team this year, also due to a series of injuries that had reduced the roster. A fundraiser in his name has already raised $650,000 in just a few hours.