SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – During Monday Night Football, 24-year-old Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. Thankfully the medical response was quick and Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored.
With just under six minutes to go in the first quarter, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw a pass to Tee Higgins. Bills Safety Hamlin came over to make a tackle but soon after he got up he collapsed back to the floor. The medical staff rushed to Hamlin and performed CPR before he was put into the ambulance.
It was a scary scene but fortunately the use of CPR was crucial in potentially saving the life of the young athlete. In instances where CPR is needed, especially in the context of sports, knowing it can be the difference between life and death.
“They say that every down person that is unconscious and not receiving CPR, you can say is 10 percent less likely to survive each additional minute. So the faster you’re on scene, the faster you can get those compressions going and early tribulation is critical to the patient,” said West Springfield Lieutenant Tony Spear.
Only 18 percent of Americans know how to perform CPR, according to Harvard Health and for situations when it’s necessary there may not be time to wait for a medic.
“Any old person can be trained to do it. You don’t have to be fully certified. If you call 911, they give you instructions over the phone on how to begin chest compressions. But it’s so important to start chest compressions when’s someone’s trapped to help their survival chances,” said AMR Springfield’s Operational Manager Kim D’Angelo.
“It’s one of those things that you may or may not use hopefully not but there’s definitely strength in numbers the more people that are certified the more people that know the process the safer we’d all be out in public,” said Spear.
Hamlin is still in critical condition in the University of Cincinnati hospital. Some uplifting news though, Hamlin’s charity which is a toy drive for children has received over $4.5 million in donations in the past day.