Charleston hospitals discuss heart health and life-saving skills

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The sports community is reeling after a Buffalo Bills football player collapsed and went to the hospital during Monday night’s game.

Damar Hamlin, the 24-year-old safety, received emergency aid on the field for nearly 20 minutes after going into cardiac arrest. He remains in critical condition.

In the wake of the unexpected medical emergency, Charleston area hospitals are sharing essential and potentially lifesaving information about using automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

According to the American Red Cross, the county’s healthcare systems see half a million cardiac arrests every year. The organization states that CPR can double or sometimes triple the chance of survival when someone is suffering a heart attack.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are small, portable electronic devices used to shock the heart back into its normal rhythm on someone in cardiac arrest. AEDs are often located in workplaces, schools and public places lots of people frequent like stadiums, restaurants or shopping centers.

Starting in 2006, Roper St. Francis Emergency services began participating in a community health initiative called ‘HeartSave’ that put more than 750 AEDs in public places throughout Charleston. These places include schools, churches, restaurants and medical facilities. The program offers AED devices and CPR training following American Heart Association guidelines.

You can find out more about the Roper Hospital program here: https://www.rsfh.com/community/heartsave/

You can find training classes from the American Heart Association here: https://www.heart.org/

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