Westchester doctor discusses injury prevention after hospitalization of Iona University athlete
An Iona University baseball player who was struck in the chest by a baseball during practice Thursday remains in the hospital.
"The name is called commotio cordis, which comes from Latin. Commotio, commotion, you know, hectic disruption. Cordis, heart," says Dr. Alon Gitig, director of cardiology at Mount Sinai Doctors-Westchester.
He believes that's the injury the baseball player may have suffered.
News 12 was told that the student is now at Weill Cornell in Manhattan and breathing on his own."It causes an arrythmia, the heart rhythm, electrical properties to go bezerk briefly," says Gitig.
This means the impact throws the heartbeat off. If it doesn't get back into rhythm, it can knock a person unconscious or can be deadly.
"Depending on the time he was not getting blood flow to the brain or other vital organs, was there any injury to brain function or organ function?" says Gitig.
The injury is rare.
So how can kids be protected?
There is gear like a shirt called a sternum shirt that protects the chest area, which Dr. Gitig says provides safety but not full proof.
"It's going to require animal model research to see what level of thickness and absorption is needed," he says. Practicing a reflex with your child to turn away from any objects to avoid direct hit can also be beneficial.