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CPR: Learn what to do

January 23, 2023 at 12:00 a.m.

Ten minutes.

That's the length of time Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills lay unresponsive on the field at Cincinnati's Paycor Stadium.

Many of us watched in horror and disbelief as paramedics rendered aid to the Buffalo Bills player. Doctors who treated Hamlin told reporters on Jan. 5 that both cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED) had been used to restart his heart and restore a pulse on the field before being taken to hospital. Now as he continues making remarkable recovery in a Buffalo hospital, Hamlin's cardiac arrest highlights the vitally important need for CPR training.

Would you know what to do if someone goes into cardiac arrest in your presence?

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 Americans go into cardiac arrest each year, and 90% of those cases occur outside of a hospital, at home, on the job or elsewhere. According to the AHA, if performed immediately, CPR can double or even triple the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest outside the hospital. That's where we can all play a vitally important role in helping save a life completing a course to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR and first aid.

More than half of people in the U.S. have reported they know how to do CPR, but only 1 in 6 know that the recommended technique for bystander CPR for an adult does not consist of breaths but only chest compressions, according to a 2018 survey from Cleveland Clinic.

Signs that someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest include sudden loss of responsiveness and no normal breathing. If a person is not breathing, CPR can keep the heart pumping and blood flowing to his or her organs until an electrical shock from a defibrillator is available to restore, per the American Heart Association.

Visit the American Heart Association (https://cpr.heart.org) or the American Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org) to learn how you can register for a course. Online courses are available and there are links that provide information on in-person courses that are available in the area.

Public interest in learning lifesaving CPR techniques has spiked since Hamlin's cardiac arrest, emphasizing that the general public sees the importance of adequate training as well. The American Heart Association said it has seen a 620% increase in page views for its Hands-Only CPR webpages, which has videos and resources on how to administer hands-only CPR, since the news broke of Hamlin's condition.

Just a few simple steps can potentially save a life. Learn what you can do.

-- Dalton Daily Citizen, Jan. 18

Print Headline: CPR: Learn what to do

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