Mayo Clinic physician weighs in on COVID-19 vaccine and sudden cardiac death
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Following the collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin at an NFL game earlier this month, cardiac arrest has been in the headlines.
Mayo Clinic pediatric cardiologist Dr. Michael Ackerman explained what a cardiac arrest is.
“Sudden cardiac arrest or SCA is an electrical heart attack,” Dr. Ackerman said. “There’s a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions because we mix words like a heart attack from crushing chest pain to myocardial infarction.”
Dr. Ackerman said despite a lot of social media rumors, they are not seeing increased deaths in young athletes. He referenced a recent report that he calls “junk science.” The report said more than 1,500 athletes have died in the past year of cardiac arrest due to the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said that’s simply not true.
“We know in the United States 75-100 healthy athletes from little league, junior high, varsity, collegiate who die suddenly each year,” he said. “This number of 1,598 got totally charged. It got assigned to happening in the United States alone when it really was a study from Europe and, with these allegations, that since the pandemic, since the vaccines, the deaths in the young are 15-20 times more than normal. It’s just not grounded in reality.”
Ackerman said Mayo Clinic has been investigating sudden deaths in young people closely for nearly 25 years.
“We have a really close pulse and connection with medical examiners throughout the country and the world, as we search for a cause when no cause is there to be found,” he said. “It’s safe to say our phones would be ringing off the hook if this 15-20 times fold increase was grounded in any sense of reality.”
Ackerman acknowledged there is a risk of myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle in young people after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He also said other things like viruses, including influenza can also cause myocarditis.
“One in 5,000 is the reasonable number of young male ages 15–25-year-old male getting vaccine-associated myocarditis from one of the miRNA- derived vaccines, mostly from the Moderna product, which is higher than the Pfizer vaccine.”
Ackerman said investigating sudden deaths in young people is complex and multi-faceted.
“I want to turn over every stone,” he said. “For some of our cases, there’s going to be a temporal relationship to having received the vaccine recently. Just like before, there may be a temporal relationship to receiving the influenza vaccine. A serious scientist should never categorically rule out the chance any or situation for it to have contributed. To say categorically zero, for me as a legitimate scientist, it would be as wrong for to say no way no how. Let’s study this, let’s investigate this let’s do the real detective work to have the real truth emerge.”
Dr. Ackerman said he and his team recently sent a research study about cardiac arrest to be peer reviewed.
Copyright 2023 KTTC. All rights reserved.