The Effects of the Damar Hamlin Collapse on Temple’s CPR & AED Protocols

In the wake of the tragic events that occurred back in early January during a Monday night contest between the Buffalo Bills at the Cincinnati Bengals, a spotlight has been shined on the medical staff of these teams. These professionals who keep players safe and ultimately out of harm’s way proved to be more than prepared for a freak incident. As Damar Hamlin pulled through, even after his heart at one point had stopped. He was successfully revived due to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED) being administered within minutes of his collapse before being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition. 

These highly trained staff members have been considered heroes in and around the NFL. However, it does raise a few questions, with an organization such as the NFL that obviously can quickly provide full medical staffing for these games, can smaller organizations at universities do anything to alter or improve protocols in the event of another one of these accidents? 

Reporter Taylor Hess sat down with one of Temple football’s top athletes, Sophomore Safety Alex Odom, who plays the same position as Hamlin. When asked about the incident Odom didn’t hesitate to express his thoughts on the incident. 

“It was an eye-opener,” Odom said. Also, stating that it isn’t always a guarantee that you make it to the next game. Especially when you lay your body on the line like these athletes do daily, claiming that he himself had taken similar hits to the chest in past games. Odom had told us that the entire Temple football team spoke about Hamlin’s midgame collapse at great lengths. 

While in the aftermath of something like this, we often see the light shined onto the players on the field. In this case, a different side of the game has been revealed to the entire nation on one of the biggest stages. Medical staffs of both the Bills and Bengals were able to jump into action and save Damar Hamlin’s life as audiences everywhere sat in horror. 

Hess was able to chat with Zach White, head athletic trainer for Temple, to get a unique view of the steps and protocols in place in the event of a medical emergency. White says watching the event from his perspective was “poetic in motion seeing the entire team coming together… it was very moving.” referring to each medical team following the proper procedures to make sure Hamlin was okay. When asked if Temple had similar protocols for such an event, White responded, “absolutely” saying that at all times facilities and supplied with the proper AED technology as well as an array of trained professionals capable of performing CPR at a moment’s notice. 

White also stated that some of the most ideal places for someone to have that sort of heart failure would be either in a hospital or on a football field. In the wake of the near tragedy suffered by Damar Hamlin is very reassuring to know that personnel everywhere are doing whatever they can to keep our athletes safe

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