Commotio Cordis

Sudden death from cardiac arrest following a sudden, blunt, non-penetrating impact to the chest in an individual with a normal heart and unassociated with structural injury to the heart, occurs, though rarely. It is most often reported in association with sports activities and young athletes.1,2 The usual description of the event is of an individual struck in the chest by a baseball, a karate kick, etc., who then collapses virtually instantaneously or after a brief delay. The blow does not appear to be of sufficient magnitude to cause cardiac arrest. Evidence of impact is not present in a substantial number of cases (approximately half). Impact points appear to be mainly over the left ventricle. These deaths are believed to be caused by a primary ventricular dysrhythmia induced by an abrupt, blunt, pre-cordial blow incurred at an electrically vulnerable phase of ventricular excitability, e.g., the upstroke or peak of the T wave. CPR, even if performed immediately or in a timely period, appears to be ineffectual. This event has been reproduced in experiments where baseballs were propelled at high speed at animals' chests.3

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Acne is a name that is famous in its own right, but for all of the wrong reasons. Most teenagers know, and dread, the very word, as it so prevalently wrecks havoc on their faces throughout their adolescent years.

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