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Media work to normalize cardiac arrests in children following NFL injury

'This could happen to anyone'

Posted by

January 10, 2023


11:04 AM

Media work to normalize cardiac arrests in children following NFL injury

Mainstream media are working to normalize cardiac arrests in children after 24-year-old NFL player Damar Hamlin last week suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on the field, causing the league’s first-ever injury-caused game suspension. 

The incident sparked a conversation about COVID-19 vaccine injuries, which often include cardiac events, in which news outlets desperately tried to rule out the vaccine as a possible cause. With no evidence to eliminate the vaccine, news corporations diagnosed Hamlin with an extremely rare disease and accused those pointing to the vaccine as “exploiting” his injury. 

Now news sites are publishing a flurry of articles on how cardiac arrests “can happen to anyone,” singling out children as potential victims. While some estimates peg cardiac arrests in children at about 2,000 cases a year, articles on the topic were relatively rare until last week. 

“Cardiac arrest can happen to children. What parents of kids in sports should know,” read a headline from USA Today Thursday. 

“Damar Hamlin’s collapse during Monday night’s football game was a sobering reminder to parents of children participating in sports: This could happen to anyone,” began the article. 

CNN echoed the warning with an article Tuesday, titled, “How to protect your kids when they play sports, according to doctors.” 

“Cardiac events during sports are uncommon for anyone, said Dr. Stuart Berger, division head of cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. While they can also occur in kids and teens, these injuries can happen whether or not people play sports,” reported CNN. 

NBC News ran its own headline, titled: “After Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest, attention turns to chest pads for young athletes.” 

“Sports medicine specialist Dr. Kody Moffatt knows how seeing Damar Hamlin collapse in cardiac arrest on ‘Monday Night Football’ has frightened parents of young athletes,” the article began. 

"Cardiac Arrest in Young Athletes,” an article from Children’s National headlined Wednesday. “Typically, cardiac arrest in young athletes is caused by an underlying heart condtion [sic] or, very rarely, a blow to the chest.” 

“Children’s Hospital of Richmond helps schools prepare for cardiac arrest,” ABC affiliate WRIC reported Thursday. 

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