DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — On Tuesday, doctors said that Damar Hamlin likely experienced irregular pulsation of the heart that happens during cardiac arrest. The next steps are to get him breathing on his own.

“It all depends on how much damage has occurred in the brain and how much they’re dependent on the ventilator. So, if he’s breathing on his own and showing signs of spontaneous respiration, and his neurological recovery is there, we can generally get him off these devices and gradually start the rehab process,” Cardiologist Dr. Abdul Wase said.

He also said there is not much doctors can do in terms of helping Damar at this point, besides to waiting to see how he recovers.

While many people are wondering how this could have been prevented, it is an extremely rare occurrence. However, to reduce the chances of acute chest injuries even more, the NFL could make changes to their equipment.

“They do wear their protective gear in the chest but that only protects from muscle it does. it’s not designed to protect from these kinds of electrical currents leading to cardiac arrest.. so I think research needs to be done more to prevent these kind of heart event that can happen,” he told us.

Dr. Wase also added that having AED’s available in highly populated areas like churches and schools is very effective in saving lives. But it all starts with making sure you know CPR.

“As for the general public, we should all learn how to perform CPR and the sooner you get to the patient with a cardiac arrest and performance of CPR the higher the likelihood of survival,” he said.