Texas Football Player Survives Torn Vena Cava

Texas Football Player Survives Torn Vena Cava

News Nov 30, 2012

University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden was discharged from Memorial Hermann Hospital on Nov. 12, just six days after he collided with one of his teammates in practice. His injury is newsworthy because it could have - and maybe should have - killed him.

Hayden tore his inferior vena cava, the large vein that delivers blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to repair the torn vessel.

Coach Tony Levine told the Houston Chronicle that the injury occurred when both Hayden and a teammate broke for the ball and collided.

"It was a freak accident," Levine said. "It was as unfortunate of a situation on a play that I have ever been a part of. It's something you rarely see in practice and playing football."

Such an injury is rare not only in football, but in all sports. Injuries to the inferior vena cava typically result from motor vehicle accidents or penetrating injuries, like gunshot wounds. According to University of Houston team physician Dr. Walter Lowe, the injury is 95 percent fatal.

"Looking at the whole course of events and the severity of the injury, D.J. has progressed remarkably well and is out a lot sooner than expected. He's got a lot of healing left to do as the procedure to repair the inferior vena cava is much like a heart transplant. The sternum should take around three months to heal and D.J. is expected to be able to resume normal activities without contact in three-to-four months," Lowe explained in the school's press release.

Hayden himself hasn't discussed his injury publicly, but his mother realizes that her son could have quickly bled to death. In an interview with a Houston television station, Tori Hayden thanked the medical personnel involved at all levels who acted quickly to save his life.

"I'm thankful for (UH head athletics trainer) Mike O'Shea and his team of trainers. I'm thankful for the EMS. I'm thankful for the trauma team here at Memorial Hermann and I'm just so thankful he is just still here with me."

Dr. Lowe believes Hayden will need a full year to recover. But just days after her son's release from the hospital, Tori Hayden says that she expects her son to want to return to the sport that nearly took his life. "Me as a mother I really don't want him to go back out there, but I know my son. He's a fighter and I know he's going to overcome this.

D.J. Hayden suffered one of the most unusual injuries I've ever heard of in sports. I would argue that whether or not he ever returns to football is not important at this point. It is truly remarkable that he is alive at all.

Continue Reading

Dr. David Geier is an orthopaedic surgeon and Director of MUSC Sports Medicine. For more information about football injuries and other sports medicine topics, go to his blog at drdavidgeier.com.

Copyright 2012 The Post and CourierAll Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)
A Pafford EMS medical helicopter crashed on Sunday night, killing all three crew members on board.
Effingham County Dive Rescue Team consists of difficult but rewarding work, like rescue missions and solving crimes with police.
The 6,700-square foot center features a dispatch center, a large main room for disaster response meetings, and a media room for relaying information during emergencies.
Owensboro Fire Department employees who recently received ALS training from Air Evac Lifeteam have had 83% resuscitation success rates in comparison to the national average of 11%.
While provider safety remains a high priority in EMS education, the topic of patient safety has fallen to the wayside.
Dispatch operators in Flagler, Florida often quit within their first twelve months of work due to the high stress of the job and average starting salary of $22,000.
Government representatives are considering new legislation and higher taxes to help support agencies that are losing volunteers.
Several cities and counties are planning to sue for the excessive costs of handling the opioid epidemic, especially for medical services, fire departments, and law enforcement.
Mothers can anonymously drop off their infants in the baby box at fire departments, which sets off a silent alarm alerting EMS personnel that it's in use.
Acushnet ambulances will be using Tylenol, Toradol, and ibuprofen as safer alternatives to fentanyl as the opioid epidemic continues to worsen.
Medline is one of the first to achieve a fentanyl-resistant product in response to the growing opioid epidemic.
A portion of ticket sales will help fund the monument in Keansburg, which will feature a piece of a steel beam from the World Trade Center.
The AAA honored SCCAD's efforts in combating the opioid epidemic with a 2017 AMBY Award in the category of Community Impact Program.
The funds will benefit organizations along the Hudson River such as Rockland Paramedic Services, Nyack Hospital, and Maternal Infant Services Network.
As one of the top ten most active emergency departments in the nation, Reading Hospital staff felt it was time to prepare for an active shooter event.