Learning CPR/AED to save someone’s life in an emergency

Following Hamlin's cardiac arrest on Monday night, medical experts are stressing the importance of CPR and AED training for the public.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:52 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Following NFL safety Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field Monday night following a cardiac arrest, many are wondering what they would do if found in a similar situation.

Many medical professionals across the state have said how quick-acting paramedics intervened just in time to restart Hamlin’s heart on the field. He is still in the hospital in critical condition, according to the NFL. Roy Rogers and Captain Rob McDade with Phoenix Fire Department visited Good Morning Arizona to talk about the importance of learning these critical life-saving techniques.

“When he fell to that turf, I knew immediately at home that something didn’t look right,” McDade said. Roy Rogers said that CPR is very accessible for anyone to perform. “CPR is a very important tool that anyone can do, basically. You can look for signs of life like breathing, move, talking, walking around, and you can check for a pulse,” he said. “Once you identify that, you use two hands, put them on the lower part of the breast bone and push hard and fast.”

Rogers said to make sure someone calls 911 right away and get ahold of an AED and give someone a chance at life. McDade said to always go deeper than you think. “If you feel like you’re breaking that intercostal space in those ribs, you’re doing it right,” he said. “You can just push on that chest hard and fast at least 2 inches deep.”

According to the Phoenix Fire Department website, one in 7 people will have the chance to use CPR in their lifetime. More than 300,000 people die before receiving medical treatment when the brain goes 4-6 minutes without oxygen — brain damage or death sets in. If you do CPR on someone in need, the survival rate is 43%. If started between 4-8 minutes, the survival rate is 10%.

The AED is a system that offers electricity to the heart when it’s in a rhythm that is not sustainable to live. The AED will verbally give you instructions so you can deliver a shock. “If you shock the patient, you can go right back to doing CPR,” Rogers said. Locally, Phoenix Fire 493 offers CPR classes through city centers that the public can take. The American Red Cross also offers classes.

With regard to legal concerns, the “Good Samaritan Act” includes medical professionals and any person offering medical care in good faith, regardless of training in an emergency, is not liable for any civil or other damages. This includes the result of any act or omission by which the person rending the care or any failure to act to provide or arrange for more medical treatment. You can learn more about the act at the Laborer’s Health & Safety Fund of North America here.