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What fmr. US surgeon general and WISH med. expert says about commotio cordis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — What is commotio cordis?

That was the question posed on News 8 at 5 p.m. Tuesday to Dr. Jerome Adams, the WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin said earlier in the day that specialists agreed his heart stopped during an NFL football game as a result of commotio cordis, which is a direct blow at a specific point in a heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest.

Adams said, “It happens a lot to hockey players, occasionally to football or baseball players, at just the exact wrong time that causes you to have an arrhythmia, which can then precipitate cardiac arrest. That’s what happened to Damar Hamlin, and his life was saved because he receives prompt CPR.

“So, I think the lesson here to everyone is that the more we can help people understand that they all can do CPR, hands-only CPR — Anyone can do it. You can teach an 11 year old to do it. My daughter has been taught how to do it — the more we can give people like Damar Hamlin a chance to go on and live long and healthy lives.”

Parents of young sports players should know resuscitation is possible, which should ease concerns.

The combination of xylazine and fentanyl

The White House calls xylazine “an emerging threat.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued an alert in March about the widespread threat of fentanyl mixed with xylazine, a veterinary tranquilizer also commonly known as “tranq” or “tranq dope.”

Adams, an anesthesiologist, says xylazine prolongs the high that people get from heroin and fentanyl use.

“The danger, though, is that it also increases the risk of overdose, and naloxone or Narcan, which we use to reverse fentanyl or heroin overdoses, doesn’t reverse the effects of xylazine. Further, I’ve talked to many emergency medicine doctors and they tell me that the injections of this animal tranquilizer leads to incredibly serious wounds, and many people have required amputations after using it.”

The White House last week said that fentanyl combined with xylazine is an “emerging threat” facing the United States due to its role in the ongoing opioid crisis.

Adams said, “For a drug to be categorized as an ’emerging threat,’ its use must have risen at least 15% in three out of four U.S. regions. … Detection of xylazine and overdoses have actually increased 750% in the West, over 1,000% in the South and more than 500% right here at home in the Midwest.”

As a result, Adams said, the White House and the Office of National Drug Control Policy will develop a national response plan that includes testing treatment and support protocols, and better data and strategies to reduce illegal supply.

Study: Most people not aware of HPV

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There were about 43 million HPV infections in 2018, many among people in their late teens and early 20s. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems, including genital warts and cancers.

A new study shows that many people aren’t even aware of HPV.

“Yes, big news today,” Adams said. “That study, which is done annually, showed that, in 2020, 70% were aware of the link between HPV and cervical cancer, and that represented a 7.4% drop from 2014. So, fewer people are aware of the link between HPV and cancer, and only 30% knew that it could cause throat or anal cancers.”

The doctor also noted that a vaccine is available that “can prevent almost 100% of these cancers from occurring: the HPV vaccine.

“All of my kids have been vaccinated, but, if people aren’t aware that they can prevent cancer in their children, they’re not going to get them vaccinated, and we’re seeing vaccinations drop as this awareness level is dropped.”

People as old as 45 can get the vaccination, he said.