Damar Hamlin Story Shows How Important It Is to Know CPR

CPRBy now, almost everyone knows what happened to Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin a week ago when he made a regular-looking tackle during a game with the Bengals, stood up, and then collapsed on the field. The 24 year old’s collapse was triggered by cardiac arrest, an event possibly brought on by commotio cordis, an unusual combination of a blow to the chest, right over the heart, with a particular moment during the heart’s rhythm cycle, which disrupts the heart’s rhythm.

Medics worked on Hamlin on the field for nineteen minutes, administering CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restore the heart’s rhythm. That’s when he was able to be transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Although Hamlin’s heart rhythm was restored, no one knew if he was going to recover from the incident. That’s because one of the biggest dangers of cardiac arrest is the cessation of oxygen being delivered to the brain, which can result in brain damage or even death. It appears now that Hamlin’s brain is ok and that is likely because of the immediate response of people on the field, which consisted in part of ongoing manual pumping of the heart through CPR.

It takes a very short time to learn CPR, several hours depending on the class, and it’s a skill you never forget and can apply to save someone’s life, possibly someone in your own family. Your intervention can make the difference. You can learn online or in person. The next local trainings are hosted by the BIFD:

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