CPR instructor: Quick action saved Damar Hamlin’s life

Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin is examined during the first half of an NFL football game against...
Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin is examined during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati.(Jeff Dean | AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:50 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/Gray News) – A CPR instructor for the American Heart Association is praising medical staff’s quick action for saving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s life.

Hamlin collapsed mid-game Monday night after he took a hit to the chest while making a tackle. Doctors said he suffered cardiac arrest on the field.

Gregory Wyatt, a CPR instructor who trains faculty for the American Heart Association, said Hamlin very likely could have died, had it not been for the quick thinking of others.

“Instead of putting him in the ambulance, they returned him to the ground to immediately start CPR,” Wyatt said. “That is literally the last intervention step between them [Hamlin] and death.”

According to team officials, Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field before he was taken to the hospital.

Wyatt has been a CPR instructor for nearly 20 years and said Hamlin’s cardiac arrest from a football tackle is the first he has ever seen.

“I’m 44 years old and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it,” Wyatt said.

While Wyatt said football can be a dangerous sport for injuries, fatalities are extremely rare.

“We can debate the safety of football, but fatal incidents or potentially fatal incidents are extremely rare in the sport,” Wyatt said.

The NFL said the game between the Bills and the Bengals will not resume this week. A decision has not yet been made about rescheduling.