Teenager suffers heart attack after being hit by sliotar during match 3 years ago

Teenager suffers heart attack after being hit by sliotar during match

He was revived by his mother, a nurse who was watching the match at the time.

A teenage boy suffered a cardiac arrest following a blow to the chest from a sliotar during a match.


The boy, aged 13, collapsed after the sliotar struck the left side of his chest.

His mother, a nurse who was watching the match, quickly commenced CPR after determining that her son had no pulse.

Shortly afterwards, a defibrillator was used to revive the boy, whose heart had stopped for a total of just under four minutes.

The incident is described in detail in the June edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), highlighting the first recorded case of "commotio cordis" (agitation of the heart) caused by a sliotar.


The report, compiled by professionals from Galway University Hospital and Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin in Dublin, notes that similar cases have been recorded in other sports.

Discussing the effects arising from the event, the medics considered the use of protective chest wall shields, or an alternative softer match ball.

"However, even when worn, chest shields are not wholly protective against commotio cordis, particularly in such an agile sport where the shield would move, rendering protection incomplete," they note.

"Replacing the sliotar with a soft ball is unlikely to be acceptable as the fundamental characteristics of the game would be significantly altered and commotio cordis is such a rare event.


"We suggest efforts instead focus on the response to cardiac arrest."

While in hospital, the teenage boy affected was advised not to return to competitive sports for at least three months.