Answers to Athletes and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Premier Health providers and athletic trainers answer frequently asked questions about sudden cardiac arrest.

Are there any signs or symptoms of suspected commotio cordis?

Dr. Jeffrey Rayborn discusses the signs and symptoms of commotio cordis in high school and college athletes. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


There are no obvious signs or symptoms before the trauma takes place. Once the athlete is hit, typically from a ball, the collapse occurs. The individual may briefly regain consciousness and get up and throw the ball. Or they may have a crying episode before they go unconscious again. The impact to the chest often does not appear significant to bystanders. Unfortunately, it might seem the athlete just had the wind knocked out of them until someone recognizes that a much more serious event is taking place.

    Chelsea L. Gilliam, APRN-CNP, AGACNP-BC

    Piqua Family Practice

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    Source: Michael W. Barrow, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; American Heart Association; National Institutes of Health; Nik Berger, MS, AT, ATC, Premier Health Sports Medicine – Miami Valley Hospital South; Jeffrey James, DO, Premier Orthopedics; Sean Convery, MD, Premier Orthopedics; Jeffrey Rayborn, MD, Premier Orthopedics