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NFL Case Prompts Reminders about CPR Training

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023   

Lifesaving measures are getting a lot of attention this week after an NFL player went into cardiac arrest during a game, and Minnesotans are being reminded about the importance of CPR training.

Medical staff applied CPR and a defibrillator shock to Buffalo Bills' player Damar Hamlin, after he collapsed on the field.

Dr. Robin Germany, cardiologist and chief medical officer for ZOLL Respicardia, hopes the broader public is inspired to take on CPR training, noting medical emergencies can happen at any time, in any location.

"For every minute that adequate CPR isn't given, we're going to lose 10% of patients," Germany pointed out. "Getting CPR to a patient very quickly is very, very important."

The statistic to which she referred is about cardiac emergencies in out-of-hospital settings. Germany, also a board member of the American Heart Association of Minnesota, added bystanders should know the important steps. They include calling 911, beginning CPR and then using an AED device, if available and necessary. On its website, the Heart Association has a search tool to find local CPR training opportunities.

Germany explained depending on the situation, a person in cardiac arrest will need a defibrillator to put their heart back into rhythm once CPR is applied. She encouraged building owners and operators to have them on hand, and for people to notice them when walking through a public setting. Germany noted the devices are user-friendly.

"The nice thing about the AEDs today is, all you have to do is put the patches on," Germany emphasized. "There are really nice instructions, they'll even talk to you. And they'll tell you if that patient needs that electrical shock. You don't have to know anything."

The Heart Association said the rate of bystander CPR in North America is estimated at only around 40%, so having more bystanders who know CPR can boost survival numbers.

Disclosure: The American Heart Association of Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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