OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Weeks after Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, Old Saybrook athletes are learning about the same skills that saved his life.
“You, sitting here as students in high school, can legit make a difference, can truly save someone’s lives, just through the power of your own hands,” Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera told the students.
A patient has a 90% chance of surviving if they have CPR performed on them, according to Spera. That should be hands-only, unless a paramedic, a nurse or a cardiologist is there. State law also requires emergency dispatchers to walk a caller through how to perform CPR.
In the class, the student-athletes were taught how to check on breathing and if someone has a pulse before beginning chest compressions.
If CPR is needed, use the nondominant hand to hold the dominant hand, lock your elbows, bring your knees close to the patient and then begin compressions.
Students were also taught how to use AED kits.
Brendan Saunders, the athletic director at Old Saybrook High School, wanted as many students to learn CPR as possible.
“They’re going to be the first ones who are going to see these things,” he said. “They’re going to see these emergency situations a lot of the time, so to have them prepared to be able to react is such a huge thing for our community.”
Meghan Brady worries about her daughter, who plays two sports.
“It’s very stressful as a parent and as a spectator, so I think it’s very important that as many of us get educated and be able to assist where we can,” Brady said.