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drhess 06-27-2004 10:06 AM

pronounce and explain commotio cordis
Howdy all,

1) How do you pronounce "commotio cordis"

2) Can somebody put the VC and AP terms in laymans terms? Thanks.

"Biomechanical aspects were given consideration early by Schlomka et al (17,18), who determined the risk of commotio cordis to be proportional to both the speed and force of the impact and inversely proportional to the size of the contact area. Much later, Bir and Viano (30) reviewed studies that evaluated the biomechanical response of the thorax to blunt trauma; factors investigated included the magnitude of chest compression, rate of chest deformation, and the viscous criterion (VC) as predictors of the degree of cardiac injury. Review showed that the VC (an index of the magnitude of chest wall deflection plus the velocity of deflection, normalized for AP thickness) was the best predictor of commotio cordis (30). The VC was proportional to the likelihood of an adverse cardiac effect. Mechanisms considered to produce the cardiac effect include abrupt deceleration of the heart as it strikes the sternum or spine (7,31), a direct concussive effect from chest wall impact (5), and, in more severe chest blows such as those occurring in vehicular accidents, a crush injury as the heart is compressed between the sternum and the spine (7,31)." Source:


Nametag 06-27-2004 01:59 PM

Commotio cordis is cardiac concussion, a heart stoppage due to a blow to the chest.

Pronunced "com-MOT-ee-oh CAR-dis"

Can't help with the biomechanics terms, sorry.

bibliophage 06-27-2004 03:22 PM

Cecil Adams recently discussed commotio cordis in his column Is the "ninja death touch" real?

Commotio cordis, also known as cardiac concussion. This is a syndrome in which a nonpenetrating impact to the chest causes heart failure but little or no structural damage. The classic victim is a kid or young adult who takes a baseball, hockey puck, or other hard object in the chest, but a 44-year-old teacher died when she caught an elbow while breaking up a fight at school. About half the time the victim collapses immediately, and in the balance of cases within a minute or two. Death is thought to result from ventricular fibrillation, a state in which the lower heart chambers start fluttering and stop pumping blood. One study of 128 cases found that 84 percent of the victims died, and nearly all the survivors received prompt defibrillation. Relatively little force is required for the killing blow--one researcher estimates that the blunt instrument need be moving at only 30 mph. Don't think this is something you'll be able to pull on the next ninja who leaps from the shadows, though. Animal experiments suggest that you’d have to strike within a 15-20 millisecond window in the heartbeat cycle to have a reasonably good chance of taking down your attacker.

drhess 06-28-2004 09:15 AM


Originally Posted by bibliophage
Cecil Adams recently discussed commotio cordis in his column Is the "ninja death touch" real?

Yes. I know that, but that doesn't answer the question. I posted the question in the comment section on this article, but no body answered it. I was wondering what all the physics/physiology lingo meant. May have to wait for an MD to wonder by.

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