Athletic trainer, health professional talk about signs of cardiac arrest

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 5:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2023 at 6:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Several high-profile athletes have recently suffered cardiac arrest, the most recent being USC recruit Bronny James, the son of NBA star LeBron James. It’s bringing awareness to what can actually happen to the heart during that medical episode.

Football season is upon us, and we have witnessed athletes like Buffalo Bills player Demar Hamlin suffer cardiac arrest on the field in the middle of a game, but News Leader 9 learned it could happen to anyone at any age and at any time.

Marcus Harris is the defensive lineman at Auburn University, and he says workouts now are strenuous.

“We’re training right now, four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday,” said Harris.

With that schedule, he says as a football player, he’s seen other athletes like Demar Hamlin and recently Bronny James going he talked to News Leader 9 about what trainers preach.

“If we’re feeling like symptoms, of our heart, of feeling some types of way with our heart, we will talk to our trainers, and they will figure it out, and they will tell us whether or not to stop working out or keep working out.”

The Director of Cardiovascular Services at Piedmont Columbus, Ray Jones, says you should listen to your body.

“Sometimes, the first symptom is sudden death. You don’t ever know,” said Jones.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer a heart attack, but the registered nurse says that events are rare, and it’s hard to give people symptoms of cardiac arrest.

“It’s so uncommon. It’s quite rare.”

Harris says, as an athlete, he has been trained to recognize a few signs, especially when the temperatures rise.

Jones says professionals only have about 60 seconds to save a life when someone goes into cardiac arrest. He says a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest, but if you suffer cardiac arrest, it doesn’t mean you had a heart attack.