EMT’s encourage people to get CPR certified after Buffalo Bills player collapses on field

In an emergency, CPR could be the difference between life and death.
“It’s a basic, life-saving skill, that anybody can learn”
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:00 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin is still in a Cincinnati hospital after going into cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football. Medical professionals are being credited with keeping Hamlin alive by performing CPR for several minutes.

But, a lot of emergencies happen in situations where EMT’s are not close by.

Hopefully, it’s a skill that you’ll never have to use. But in an emergency, CPR could be the difference between life and death.

“It’s a basic, life-saving skill that anybody can learn,” said Pennie Cox, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician for American Medical Response.

You never know when you might need it. NFL games have qualified, medical personnel on hand for every game. But an emergency could happen in any setting.

Cox said it could take up to 17 minutes for an ambulance to arrive to an emergency, and those are crucial minutes.

“Those minutes could make a huge difference, a huge impact on someone’s chance of survival, or full recovery,” Cox said.

She said CPR should be performed on someone that stopped breathing. It keeps blood moving through the body and into the brain, increasing the likelihood of survival.

“What you want to do is put your hands together like this,” Cox said, putting one hand behind the other and interlocking her fingers. “You want to get between the nipple on the chest, and you want to give compressions about 100 to 120 beats per minute. And you want to go about five to six centimeters, but no more than that.”

Cox said it’s normal for ribs to crack or break due to the force of the compressions.

The process is similar for infants. The difference is that you only use two fingers, don’t go as deep, and push at a slower frequency.

Cox recommended getting certified in CPR. AMR offers a free class the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month.

Cox said the certifications last for two years, so it’s not a bad idea to take another course to brush up on CPR.

You never know when the skill might save a life.