(KRON) – Each year in the United States, more than 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital. Millions witnessed it live on TV when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped on the football field.
What they also saw was how he was saved. And now you can save a life too.
In a packed stadium – we watched as a healthy 24-year-old football player went into sudden cardiac arrest. And lucky for Hamlin, CPR and an AED got his heart beating again.
“Sometimes the difference between life and death gets down to mere seconds, so the question is: Would you even know what to do?” said Jeff Haughty.
Haughty is a firefighter who also runs Heart Start CPR in the Bay Area, teaching people how to do CPR. Former firefighter Chip Baker says bystanders are often afraid to jump in.
“What I’m seeing is a hesitation, because I don’t want to do it wrong. I’m not sure I know what I’m doing,” he said.
In the next quote – they’ll show us step by step what to do before help can arrive.
“The person collapses in front of us, cardiac arrest. We’re not trained, but we can help. Be strong enough to be able to do chest compressions. We get 911 activated. We begin chest compressions on this person. The AED arrives. We now incorporate the AED with chest compressions and doing CPR. This, I cannot stress (enough) gives this person a greater chance of survival rather than sitting back and watching and doing nothing,” Haughty explained.
The idea is to buy time. All of this is backed by the American Heart Association.
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First call 911. Then immediately start CPR on a teen or adult by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest for 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
It takes energy, so you may want to switch out if you’re getting tired. The AED gives you verbal guidance on how to use it, but it doesn’t hurt to practice.
Every year, sudden cardiac arrest happens to more than 7,000 thousand kids under the age of 18. Recently, Damar Hamlin went to Washington to highlight the “Access to AEDs Act,” which gives schools the funds to do CPR training and makes AEDs available to schools across the country.