HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — During Monday Night's Football game, Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals after suffering from cardiac arrest.

The 24-year-old NFL was hit in the chest during the game. Once he stood back up he immediately fell back down.

The injury has sparked many conversations regarding heart health and overall cardiac arrest causes. Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart's electrical system malfunctions. Causing the heart to stop beating properly.

According to the American Heart Association, three out of four cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital setting. In cardiac arrest, if immediate action isn't taken, the situation can quickly result in death.

Dr. Keith Newby with Fort Norfolk Plaza tells News 3 if someone is experiencing cardiac arrest and immediate attention is not applied within four to five minutes, the person can die.

"The first thing that has to be understood is that timing is everything, immediate attention should be made to see if the person has a pulse, is their breathing spontaneously, and what is their blood pressure, said Dr. Newby."

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital in the U.S. each year.

One major lifesaving skill known as "CPR" could be the key to saving someone's life.

For those who play sports, it's imperative that someone with a CPR-trained background is present.

"You should always clearly have someone who is CPR trained with you on the field. That should be an automatic, just for the offset chance that it may not be a player but it be a coach, it could be somebody else who is on the field or somebody in the stands, said Dr.Newby."

The American Heart Association released statistics stating that 90 percent of people who suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. If proper CPR is performed it could decrease the chances of someone dying.

Yet, 46% of bystanders administer CPR most of the time.

Doctors recommend those who are heavily active in sports get thorough physical examinations.

Those seeking to become CPR-certified should visit the Hampton Roads American Heart Association's website for CPR training classes in your area.



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