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Ongoing Uptick in Cardiac Arrest Cases Sparks New Debate on Link to COVID-19 & Vaccination (video)


Recent Uptick in Cardiac Arrest Cases Sparks New Debate on Link to COVID-19 and Vaccination


Elvis Presley's daughter is the latest high-profile case



January 18, 2023: An uptick in sudden cardiac arrest cases has been widely reported in recent years. The incidents, many of which have occurred in celebrities and athletes, have sparked discussions among experts and the public.


Lisa Marie Presley, the 54-year-old daughter of American singer Elvis Presley, was the latest in a series of notable cases. Presley passed away on Jan. 12 after being admitted to the hospital due to a cardiac arrest earlier in the day.


Image above: Buffalo Bills players huddle in prayer after teammate Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field following a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Jan. 2, 2023. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


On Jan. 2, millions of “Monday Night Football” viewers were watching in real-time as 24-year-old Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, stood up after a seemingly ordinary tackle and collapsed a few seconds later.


Medical professionals rushed to Hamlin’s side to render aid within ten seconds after he fell to the ground.


Hamlin was revived by CPR and a defibrillator and was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was put in a medically induced coma to protect his brain. Brain injury is the main cause of mortality following resuscitation after a cardiac arrest.


Fortunately, Hamlin was released from the hospital on Jan. 11 and returned to Buffalo, New York, where he is expected to continue his recovery.



What Causes Cardiac Arrest?


Nearly every industrialized country has reported an increase in sudden cardiac events and sudden deaths, particularly in young people. Hamlin is one of several high-profile young people to suffer from heart problems seemingly at random in recent years.


According to health officials, cardiac arrest means that a person’s heart suddenly stops beating. While the term is often used interchangeably with heart attack, they’re not the same condition, although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.


“A cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical problem in the heart that stops the heartbeat,” according to the National Institutes of Health, a federal agency. “It is often fatal unless someone takes immediate action.” On the other hand, a heart attack is caused by blocked arteries within the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle—although the heart usually keeps beating.


Regarding Hamlin’s condition, Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief physician, said on Jan. 4 that although the athlete’s collapse is still being investigated, it could have been caused by “commotio cordis,” which can happen “when severe trauma to the chest disrupts the heart’s electrical charge, causing dangerous fibrillations.”


Commotio cordis occurs when an object impacts the left side of a person’s chest directly over their heart, at the very second that the heart is relaxing and filling with blood. The impact causes the ventricles to contract instead of fill with blood, and the sudden muscle contraction throws the heart out of sync and into a quiver.


A Physician’s Analysis


Dr. Zheng Jie holds a doctorate in medicine from the University of Tokyo and specializes in surgical science. She works in pain research at the University of Tokyo. Zheng told The Epoch Times on Jan. 13 that “if a young athlete suffers a strong blow directly above the heart, even if there is no history of heart disease, he may suddenly experience a heart rhythm disorder.”


“The impact could also come from a rapid-moving projectile such as a baseball, ice puck, lacrosse ball, or a collision with another player,” she said.


“When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, reduced blood flow to the brain can lead to loss of consciousness, and if the heart rhythm does not return to normal quickly, brain damage will likely occur and can lead to death. Many cardiac arrest survivors may suffer from irreversible brain damage as sequelae.”


Zheng said that according to statistics, one to three out of every 100,000 healthy young athletes will experience a sudden abnormal heart rhythm and die during exercise. The incidence rate in men is ten times that of women. She added that basketball, rugby, and soccer players are probably at the highest risk.


Cardiac arrest can lead to death if not treated immediately, Zheng cautioned. But with quick, proper medical care, there is a chance of survival. Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with a defibrillator (or just doing chest compressions) before first responders arrive can improve the patient’s survival rate.


Zheng added that the recent uptick in cardiac arrest among young and middle-aged people may be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination.


Pandemic Coincides with Increase in Cardiac Incidents


A study published by Dr. John R. Giudicessi, an American cardiologist, on Jan. 17, 2021, in the medical journal Heart Rhythm suggests a possible causal link between COVID-19 and the rise in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest/sudden death cases.


“Areas such as New York City, the Lombardy region of Italy, and Paris, France, hit hardest during the early pandemic (defined classically as March and April 2020) all have reported a marked rise in the incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest/out-of-hospital sudden death,” according to the study.


An analysis done by Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and his colleagues, showed that people who had been admitted to intensive care with acute infections of COVID-19 had a much greater risk of cardiovascular problems.


The study, published last August in the science journal Nature, compared more than 150,000 veterans who had recovered from acute COVID-19 with their uninfected peers and with a pre-pandemic control group.


“For some conditions, such as swelling of the heart and blood clots in the lungs, the risk shot up at least 20-fold compared with that in uninfected peers. But even people who had not been hospitalized had increased risks of many conditions, ranging from an 8 percent increase in the rate of heart attacks to a 247 percent increase in the rate of heart inflammation,” the study said.


Sudden Cardiac Deaths Linked to Vaccines


Over 270 athletes and former athletes in the United States have died from cardiac arrests or other serious issues after taking COVID-19 vaccines, according to data presented in a December peer-reviewed letter to the editor.


Authored by structural biologist Panagis Polykretis and board-certified internist and cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, the letter’s cited data found that from 2021 to 2022, at least 1,616 cardiac arrests or other major medical issues have been globally documented in vaccinated athletes, with 1,114 of those being fatal.


The global data showed that between 2021 to 2022, current and former American athletes made up 279 of the mortalities.


McCullough said, looking at the data, “there’s no doubt” that sudden cardiac deaths have increased following widespread COVID-19 vaccinations.


However, since most of the sudden cardiac deaths in the media are of professional competitive players, McCullough added that collecting data from athletes in colleges, high schools, and other international leagues would give a more comprehensive picture.


(Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock)


Myocarditis and Cardiac Arrest


In an interview with The Epoch Times on Jan. 10, Japanese physician Ke Xia said she believed that “COVID-19 and its vaccines’ side effects are indeed correlated to many cases of cardiac arrest.”


“Cardiac arrests in many young people, even children, are caused by myocarditis. Four students and a class teacher died in an elementary school in Yokohama, Japan, in 2021, and it was later discovered that the deaths were all caused by myocarditis,” she said.


It is well documented in scientific literature that myocarditis (heart inflammation) is a known risk of COVID-19 vaccines and that it disproportionately affects young men.


Moreover, a 2021 study by French researchers suggests that a history of myocarditis may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death in contact sports.


However, Ke explained, myocarditis may go unnoticed because it is difficult to diagnose clinically. “The reason is that the virus invades the heart and causes inflammation of the myocardium. The general symptoms are like a cold.”


Jabs Could Put Hearts at Risk


Ke noted that receiving a large number of vaccine injections may be a contributing factor to myocarditis. “When the needle is inserted, you have to withdraw it a little to see if there is blood. The purpose of this is to prevent the vaccine from being directly injected into the blood vessel. If the vaccine directly enters the blood vessels, it may cause myocarditis when it reaches the heart with the blood flow. With such a large volume of vaccination being performed, it is difficult to ensure that no vaccine enters the blood vessels,” Ke said.


“Myocarditis can directly cause heart arrhythmia, a symptom where electrical signals that coordinate the heart’s beats don’t work properly. That’s why it’s so deadly.”


Ke stressed that heart problems are often difficult to diagnose as many people have no external symptoms before experiencing a cardiac arrest, resulting in a high mortality rate.


Source: Epoch Health


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