Damar Hamlin collapse sheds light on importance of CPR, AED training

You don’t have to be a medical professional to help save a life.
It's simple and easy, anyone can do it and paramedics say EVERYONE should learn it.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 9:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Buffalo Bills star Damar Hamlin’s on-field collapse is shedding light on the importance of CPR and AED training.

Free training is available in Mecklenburg County through the Keep the Beat program.

“Everyone should be CPR trained if they’re able,” Matt Lewis, the assistant operations manager for Mecklenburg County EMS (MEDIC), said. “It’s very important that as soon as someone goes into cardiac arrest that we get the chest compressions as soon as possible. For every minute that treatments delay with chest compressions, they have a 10 percent loss in survivability in their treatment.”

On Friday, Jan. 5, Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic) will be holding a free non-certified CPR and AED Training + Tour. You can sign up here.

He does not recommend people check for a pulse because it can cost people time.

Also Read: Panthers, Charlotte leaders send prayers to Bills’ Hamlin after collapse

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is also no longer advised, as that time could be better spent doing effective chest compressions.

NFL star and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.

Lewis says it’s important to start compressions at least twice per second hard and fast.

“We’re gonna go straight into CPR,” he said. “But if we have an AED we want to call for someone else to go get it.”

It can be the difference between life and death.

Related: NFL, sports world reacts to injury to Bills’ Hamlin

“If you can deploy an AED early in cardiac arrest you can shock that heart back into a normal rhythm increasing their overall chance for survival,” he said.

He says this is what the medical teams did for Damar Hamlin during Monday night football.

“That athlete had world-class medical treatment in an instant,” he said.

Even without world-class medical experts, an AED is easy to operate as it provides simple instructions aloud.

If you do not have an AED, he says you can still help someone.

“You can still help the patient by doing chest compressions, it’s going to keep that patient going until our unit can arrive and assess the patient,” he said.

You can also download the PulsePoint AED app, allowing you to locate AEDs nearby.