Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date





energy, ventricular fibrillation, commotio cordis, chest protector


A healthy teenage boy is playing high school baseball, when he is struck in the chest by the ball; minutes later, his heart is experiencing ventricular fibrillation (VF) and the only way to resuscitate him is to use a defibrillator. This phenomenon, is known as Commotio Cordis (CC), and occurs as many as 20 times each year in the United States. CC most frequently occurs in sports with small balls (e.g. baseball or lacrosse) and requires a specific set of circumstances–a projectile with a certain amount of energy that impacts directly over the left ventricle of the heart during a ~15ms window during the upstroke of the heartbeat’s T-wave. While it might seem that commercially available chest protectors would prevent CC, the sad reality is that they don’t – 20% of recorded cases have been wearing chest protectors, and studies using a porcine animal model have shown that none of the protectors tested significantly reduced the incidence of VF [1]. There is a need to determine protector materials that might prevent CC from occurring. The goal of this study is to determine whether the energy absorption of potential protector materials correlates with the occurrence of VF in a porcine model.


Poster presented at the American Society of Biomechanics Annual Meeting, held at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, from August 2-5, 2016.