Cardiologist explains how Ramona teen may have died

Teen suffers blunt force to the chest with a ball

RAMONA, Calif. - While classmates at Ramona High School and friends try to comprehend loss of 16-year-old Taylor Dorman, 10News sought out a cardiologist to find out how a blunt force trauma -- like a ball to the chest -- could have killed the teen.

"It’s very unfortunate because that's not very common," said Dr. Hassan Kafri, a cardiologist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Kafri told 10News that it was the energy or force of the ball that most likely started an internal chain of events.

"Just like when you get a trauma to any muscle and you see it bruise and swell," he explained. "When it happens to your arm or leg you, can see that directly; in the heart, you don't see it because it's covered by the chest and the ribs."

Kafri said the ball most likely hit Dorman in an area over the heart, left of the sternum.

As 10News first reported Wednesday, Dorman was in physical education class playing over the line -- a game similar to softball -- when he took a line drive to the chest. Twenty minutes later, he dropped to the ground; his coach rushed over to help.

Dorman's friends told 10News he had a heart murmur as a child. A heart murmur is the sound of blood that doctors listen to with a stethoscope when it goes through the heart and valves.

"A heart murmur is very common and should not be in and of itself a reason for people to be scared," Kafri added. "You don't want to scare people off, but if you feel something is wrong and you don't feel well, that's certainly a reason to seek attention."

The specifics of how the incident happened do little to console the friends of Dorman.

On Thursday night, they sobbed quietly in front of the school for their friend who died on his 16th birthday.

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