Winning isn’t everything?Winning is a great feeling but not the ultimate feeling. Compassion is.There is more to life than sports? Who said football is more than life and death? Seeing a fellow human being in distress kind of makes you think of life and it’s purpose. Damar Hamlin, the Bills Safety’s collapse last night in their game against the Steelers , has an air of a wakeup call to sports not just football. All safety precautions have been taken , concussion protocol helmets, check. Shoulder pads, check. Everything check. Yet Damar lies in a Cincinnati hospital, not because of incompetence, but because of blind spots. Today I want to discuss how we can avoid being blind sided by blind spots, part of human nature is to assure ourselves that if all our checks are done, we will be fine. Here is the thing, Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by the most innocuous of things that can happen on a football field, a hit to the upper part of the torso. Those hits are so common(and almost always leave the player intact) in the NFL that most football doctors prefer to focus on injuries such as legs and neck.

How could it have been prevented? I am afraid the only answer is a medical exam before every game. Do the NFL teams want to foot that BILL no pun intended? They won’t because of the time constraints as well as budget. Granted the NFL has the most rigorous medical exam there is in all sports, that I have to give credit. But the fact that Hamlin passed that exam and still suffered a heart attack should be an eye opener. Why do I say so? Like everything in like be it school exams, amusement park ride, driving in the snow at night, it is down to luck and chance. Hamlin may have gone into the EKG exam(electrocardiogram,it tests heart rhythm to see if anything is amiss) on a day in which his emotions were on a high, temperatures optimal. So doing these exams regularly reduces chances of them going undetected in the long run. Having all equipment on site improves chances of survival astronomically like we have seen here and with Muamba in the English Premiership. Blindspots can be found by having a checker checking the checker. I know doctors don’t like second opinions as it may be construed as an attack on their ability. Having an independent doctor outside your team’s medical staff check your players improves chances of detecting those blindspots. Like VAR is soccer, it isn’t a guaranteed success though. Lastly, African American males are the most at risk demographic when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest. With that kind of knowledge at hand, the NFL should be taking proactive role in having those tests done a lot more frequently, not just during draft week, but an oversight or advisory role to internal NFL team’s medical functions.

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