Experts stress importance of CPR after Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest

Survival rates go up if someone with CPR training is available, doctors say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sports physicians and CPR instructors are reacting to Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin’s, sudden cardiac arrest on Monday.

Dr. Gregor Eldayrie, a primary care sports medicine physician with Orlando Health, said watching Hamlin collapse on the field during Monday’s game against the Bengals was shocking and said these kinds of emergencies don’t happen often.

[TRENDING: Antisemitic words projected onto downtown Orlando building on New Year’s Eve | What happened to Damar Hamlin during Monday Night Football game? | Become a News 6 Insider]

“You know, anytime we see something like that, that’s a sports medicine physician’s biggest fear,” Eldayrie said. “You know that’s the thing we talk about a lot and prepare for, and we see it very little, but we have to know to be prepared for those scenarios when they do happen.”

According to the Bills, Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after taking a hit during Monday’s game. In a tweet, the team announced Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field.

“The survival rates for those who have CPR training immediately if a player collapses on the field, if it’s just CPR available it’s 50 percent,” Eldayrie said. “If you have CPR and an AED available, by 85 percent.”

Red Cross Instructor, Kathy MacDonald, said it could be at any time where you need to jump in and save someone’s life.

“While we have tremendous EMS and health care here in central Florida, they’re not there a lot of times when things happen but you might be,” MacDonald said. “And to me, I’d always want to help, but I’d want to make sure I helped the right way.”

The American Red Cross released it’s own statement on Tuesday saying:

MacDonald said she feels it’s important to be CPR certified.

“Cardiac arrest can happen for a lot of reasons. Not just heart attacks but drownings, breathing difficulties so you know parents should be prepared just in case something happens to their child and we all should be prepared because it could be your spouse, your neighbor, your child.”

For more information on how you can become CPR certified, click here.

About the Author:

Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.