Hamlin incident shows importance of CPR training

Millions of fans watching Monday's NFL game saw the importance of CPR as it happened after the collapse of Buffalo's Damar Hamlin.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:39 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - When a Buffalo Bills player collapsed on the field Monday night, millions watching became aware of the gravity of the situation when it was announced, he was given CPR.

The NFL said Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to a Cincinnati hospital, where he is in critical condition.

For Clancy Fraser, an instructor with CPR Choice, the incident showed how critically important CPR training can be.

“This person could have had the same situation out here on the sidewalk and what would bystanders do in that situation,” Fraser said. “So there’s a big push to learn this, for everyone to learn it.”

Fraser says a person can go brain-dead within four to six minutes after losing blood to the brain. That’s why quick action, like how paramedics responded to Hamlin Monday night, is crucial.

“At least they did assess the situation and they did start their procedures right away. May have made a difference whether [Hamlin] lived or not,” Fraser said.

Metro Public Schools tell WSMV4 it has 242 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at all 150 school locations.

All staff is required to take a virtual AED course, and coaches are required to participate in an annual sudden cardiac arrest course. A Vanderbilt University medical sports trainer is also assigned to each high school and attends games.

CPR Choice offers training seven days a week.

While Fraser’s thoughts are with Hamlin and his family, he hopes more people will be encouraged to become CPR certified after seeing how important the life-saving technique can be.

“I’d like to say that it’s 100 percent but it’s not. But it’s zero percent if you do nothing. It’s a zero percent chance of them surviving if you do nothing, and so that’s why I tell people, give them at least a fighting chance,” Clancy said.

For information about CPR Choice and the classes they offer, visit cprchoice.com.