INDIANAPOLIS — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday night’s game against the Bengals.
The American Heart Association says cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly.
"Sudden cardiac arrest is exactly that — it's sudden, it doesn't really come with warning signs, it's unexpected," Tim Harms with the American Heart Association told WRTV. "When someone has immediate CPR from a bystander, their odds of surviving are doubled, almost tripled."
Every year, approximately 350,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. About 90% of those people don’t survive, however, for the 40+% who receive bystander CPR, the odds of survival are more than doubled.
In general, underlying heart disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest, Dr. Mariell Jessup, the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer, told The Associated Press.
“It is not uncommon to find out that very vigorous athletes have undiagnosed cardiac conditions even if they’re young players,” she said.
"You don't do CPR on someone whose heart is beating," Harms said. "CPR is critical in saving someone's life. You know, when someone has sudden cardiac arrest, the heart has stopped; there's no oxygen going to the brain."
CPR classes are available throughout Central Indiana through:
WRTV's Kaitlyn Kendall shows us how an AED works and what users need to know about them.