GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s cardiac emergency has shifted the national conversation to the importance of CPR and proper AED use.
The Green Bay Packers are now taking steps to make sure local organizations have the tools they need to save a life if there’s a cardiac emergency.
“The impact of Damar’s cardiac arrest and recovery did cause us to reflect on our responsibility to take action in our community,” said Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy.
The team will donate $100,000 to purchase 80 AEDs for area schools and recreational sports leagues. Bellin Health officials will train people on how to use the equipment and they will also do yearly checks to make sure the equipment is working properly.
The Packers haven’t chosen recipients for the AEDs yet. Packers officials also said they plan to offer a mass CPR training at Lambeau Field in the coming months.
Medical professionals emphasize that Hamlin’s situation shows that cardiac arrest can happen to anybody at any time and that it’s more common than people think.
“People are much more interested in learning these skills because again you never know when this may happen so people are asking where and when can we learn and I know that Bellin Health offers a lot of CPR classes,” said Brady Schrauth who is an athletic trainer for Bellin Health.
“There’s an uptick in people who are interested in this life-saving measure and interested in learning about it,” said Bellin Health cardiologist Dr. Sumit Ringwala.
Doctors tell Local Five News that there are about 350,000 sudden cardiac events per year in the United States. For every minute that goes by after a person has a cardiac event, their chances of survival decrease by 10 percent.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services found that about 400 people in Brown County are hospitalized after a heart attack every year.
Doctors say that administering CPR to somebody within the first couple minutes after their heart stops doubles or triples their chances of survival. Health officials stress that learning CPR and how to use an AED isn’t super time-consuming and that anybody can learn it.
“They’re very important to learn and they’re very easy to learn,” said Dr. Ringwala. “For an hour out of your time, I think it’s a very good bang for your buck.”