As physical therapists, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications that can arise during treatment. One rare but serious condition that physical therapists should be aware of is commotio cordis.
Commotio cordis occurs when the heart is stunned or disrupted as a result of a direct blow to the chest. This can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. While it is most commonly seen in young athletes participating in contact sports, such as football and hockey, it can also occur in non-athletes as a result of accidents or other types of chest trauma.
The signs and symptoms of commotio cordis may include sudden collapse, loss of consciousness, and no pulse or breathing. If you suspect someone has commotio cordis, it is essential to call for emergency medical help immediately and begin CPR if the person is not breathing.
There is no specific treatment for commotio cordis, but prompt CPR and defibrillation can increase the chances of survival. Wearing protective chest gear, such as a chest protector or padded shirt, may help reduce the risk of commotio cordis in athletes.
As physical therapists, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications that can arise during treatment. By being familiar with commotio cordis and knowing how to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms, physical therapists can help ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.