Knowing the basics of CPR could help save a life when time is of the essence

People are learning how to save lives when seconds count
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:13 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin is well enough to transfer to a hospital in Buffalo just one week after he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the football field.

The medical staff that rushed to his side and immediately performed CPR are credited with saving his life.

It’s something so critical when the heart stops that local professionals hope this encourages everyone to learn at least the basics of CPR.

If someone collapses, the most important thing to do is call 911 and start chest compressions. This will help push the oxygenated blood already in the body to important organs, like the brain, heart and lungs.

James Boland, an EMS instructor and coordinator at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College said mouth-to-mouth is no longer recommended for the public to perform CPR. Instead, he said you should link your hands and push down in the middle of the sternum with the palms of your hands.

“You can’t hurt them anymore. They’re already dead and so doing CPR, if you hear that cracking don’t stop,” said Boland. “We really need to compress the chest about two to two and a half inches which is a long way in order to get that oxygenated blood to move from the heart to the brain and circulating to all the rest of the body.”

To maintain a rhythm, Boland said it’s a good idea to sing the song ‘Staying alive’ to keep to the beat.

If an AED is available, Boland said they are simple to use. All you need to do is turn it on and follow the instructions. He said don’t wait for first responders to arrive before using it because time is of the essence

“They always say every one minute that someone doesn’t start CPR, they lose 10% of their chance of life,” said Boland.

Boland admits CPR can be scary because you don’t want to hurt someone, but he said Wisconsin has a Good Samaritan Law for reassurance.

“If you acted in good faith and you try to do that the best you possibly can and never took any gratuity for it, you can’t be sued,” said Boland.

Boland encourages everyone to step in and help if someone goes into cardiac arrest because doing something is better than doing nothing when time matters.

“The more we can get the lay public test and learn CPR, the better off we all are,” said Boland.

If you are interested in taking a course on CPR, click here to head to NWTC’s website.