Medical expert weighs in on cases of cardiac arrest

Jan 3, 2023, 8:30 PM
A local medical expert joined KSL at Night to discuss cardiac arrest after Buffalo Bills safety suf...
Damar Hamlin, of the Buffalo Bills, looks on prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest non Monday, Jan. 2, 2023 in a game against Cincinnati. A local medical expert joins KSL at Night to discuss the problem. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest Monday night during a game with the Cincinnati Bengals. And remained in critical condition on Tuesday at a Cincinnati hospital.

Dr. Jared Bunch, a cardiologist at the University of Utah, joined KSL at Night Tuesday with Leah Murray and Derek Brown to discuss the occurrence of cardiac arrest in sports across around nation.

The occurrence of cardiac arrest

Brown asked how common of an occurrence is this?

“It’s quite rear, and in fact in the case of the collegian experience is around 400 to 500 people total that have had cardiac arrest and survived,” he said. “You consider the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands that participate each year. So, it’s rare, but it’s also catastrophic because you’re looking at people that are playing athletics, they’re healthy. They look healthy.”

Brown then asked Bunch what causes this kind of an event.

“There’s a variety of things,” Bunch said. “Some of the more common is some people are born with a genetic condition where the heart will thicken. And then under extreme stress, it obstructs blood flow. Some people are born with heart arteries that aren’t normal.” 

Bunch says he experienced a similar situation to the Buffalo Bills player at Utah State. He says several years ago a player was warming to play against BYU. And in the process of warming up, the player had a cardiac arrest. 

He said the staff there had been trained on early recognition and had a defibrillator courtside.

Ultimately, Bunch said the player went on to play professional basketball and has led a completely normal life.

State bill to address the problem

Utah Rep. Melissa Ballard (R-District 20) filed a bill last month that would require training and informational material available for youth sports. So, those involved in youth sports would be able to recognize the warning signs of cardiac arrest.

Murray asked Bunch if the lawmaker was right.

“Sure,” he said. “Education’s key, understanding recognition is key.”

He also stresses that defibrillators are vitally important, and says they are designed for anybody to use. 


Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
9 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
1 day ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
1 day ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
2 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
3 days ago
Prescription opioid...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescription plan

Some of the generic drugs included in the program include Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol and Sertaline.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Medical expert weighs in on cases of cardiac arrest