Doctors call on more people to learn CPR after Damar Hamlin’s scary incident

Every minute, second and moment matters in an emergency.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:48 PM CST

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Every minute, second and moment matters in an emergency.

The NFL and other medical professionals commended the rapid response of the staff who treated Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin. Hamlin needed CPR on the field after he suffered an apparent cardiac arrest in the middle of a game Monday, Jan. 2.

Doctors feel the quick response to administer CPR may have saved his life, but one expert believes this also demonstrates why more people should learn the lifesaving technique.

“Quick response is very important,” Tarek Abdallah, MD said.

Abdallah specializes in Pulmonology at Ochsner Health in Baton Rouge.

He explained the steps you should take if you plan to perform CPR.

“You bring the dominant hand, put it in the middle of the chest, then you bring the other hand and put it on top of that hand, and then we go with a compression of 100 times per minute, and then you keep going until somebody can either relieve you or EMS arrives,” Abdallah said.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital each year.

Experts say CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. About 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die.

Abdallah says if you plan to perform CPR, you don’t have to resort to using the conventional method of ‘mouth-to-mouth’. He says the traditional, and hands-only techniques are both equally as effective.

“Hands-only CPR is just as important as conventional CPR,” Abdallah said. Abdallah also believes that a few misconceptions have stood in the way of people either learning how to do CPR or wanting to perform it.

He says one big concern people have expressed is the possibility of hurting someone.

In Louisiana, the Good Samaritan Law protects anyone who tries to render aid in good faith.

“As long as the person who is responding is acting in good faith, then they are protected,” Abdallah said. Dr. Abdallah says get more people trained and ready to help if an emergency happens.”That’s where the work needs to be done,” Abdallah said.

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