Cardiac Arrest at NFL Game Calls Attention to CPR

On January 2, 2023, during the football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field from a sudden cardiac arrest after tackling Tee Higgins, Bengal’s wide receiver.

While speculation still surrounds Hamlin’s condition, it is clear that an event like this is exactly why understanding how to perform CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is so critical.Medical experts infer that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by a rare phenomenon called “commotio cordis,” which occurs when a heart is hit with blunt force at a precise moment in the blood-pumping rhythm. Luckily, as of January 9, 2023, Hamlin was released from the Buffalo General Medical Center to be home with his family.

During the scene, while attendees and at-home viewers watched nervously, paramedics spent nine minutes working to revive Hamlin. This initiation of chest compressions and AED, or automated external defibrillator, shocks ensured that Hamlin would survive the incident with a chance at substantial recovery. Dr. Nici Singletary, co-chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council told Fox News Digital, “every second counts when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, and it’s critical to know what to do in an emergency.”

According to the CDC, if CPR is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can double or triple an individual’s chance of survival. Thus, it is crucial that more people receive CPR training or education, as knowing what to do in such emergencies may save a person’s life.

After honoring Hamlin before their game on January 8, the Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots, 35-23. The Bills also beat the Dolphins on Sunday, January 15, continuing their fight for a spot in Super Bowl LVII.

Update: On January 22, the Bills lost to the Cincinnati Bengals with a final score of 27-10, making the Bills ineligible for a spot in the 2023 Super Bowl.