Chiefs’ BJ Thompson released from hospital after cardiac arrest: Report

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end BJ Thompson was released from the hospital Monday, four days after he had a seizure in a special-teams meeting and went into cardiac arrest, Thompson’s agent told NFL Network.

“The family thanks everyone for their prayers and wants to especially thank the Chiefs medical and training staff for their rapid response and professionalism throughout this situation,” Chris Turnage, Thompson’s agent, said in a statement to NFL Network.

Thompson woke up Friday morning inside the University of Kansas’ medical center in stable condition, as he was responsive almost 24 hours after the medical emergency occurred Thursday morning.

Rick Burkholder, the Chiefs’ vice president of sports medicine and performance, said Friday that kicker Harrison Butker immediately alerted trainers to the situation after he noticed Thompson was having a seizure. Burkholder and his staff worked together to help resuscitate Thompson, who fell to the floor once he went into cardiac arrest.

“Our (medical) team of that group of people provided CPR for him and he had one AED shock and came back,” Burkholder said. “He was only in cardiac arrest for probably less than a minute.”

Thompson was then taken by ambulance to the medical center and was placed under heavy sedation.


Chiefs cancel OTA practice after medical emergency

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, cardiac arrest is when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood. When this occurs, blood doesn’t flow to the brain or other important organs.

During cardiac arrest, the heart gets out of rhythm and suddenly stops beating. The person no longer has a pulse, stops breathing and becomes unconscious. Unlike a heart attack, cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical disturbance that disrupts how the heart pumps blood throughout the body, ultimately stopping blood flow. There is not a blockage to the heart.

Following the medical emergency, the Chiefs postponed their voluntary organized team activities practice until Friday afternoon.

Thompson, a fifth-round pick in 2023, is one of the Chiefs’ developmental defensive ends, a former basketball player who spent almost all of his rookie season similar to a redshirt freshman in college. He appeared in one game, the Chiefs’ regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, where he recorded two tackles in 28 defensive snaps.

At age 27, Thompson is entering the 2024 season hoping to earn a role as a rotational edge rusher.



Chiefs’ BJ Thompson awake and responsive one day after cardiac arrest

(Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)

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