Equipment may not have been enough to save Garfield teen's life

[The Record, December 07, 2010] The tragedy that took the life of a young baseball catcher from Garfield, N.J. on Friday may not have been preventable no matter what kind of protective gear he was wearing, doctors and sports equipment experts agreed Monday.

Thomas Adams probably succumbed to commotio cordis, a sudden, usually fatal condition that occurs when a blow to the chest wall at a specific point between beats disrupts the electrical activity in the heart, medical experts said. The heart stops beating and instead just shakes and quivers.

"We know it's underreported because there is no mandatory reporting," said Dr. Barry Maron, a commotio cordis expert with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, which keeps the registry. "We just don't know how much."

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