Austin-Travis County EMS explains importance of CPR training

Doctors say Damar Hamilin is showing "remarkable improvement" after going into cardiac arrest during a Monday night football game.

After collapsing on the field, he was given CPR which, very likely, saved his life.

Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) gave a demonstration, and talked about this important skill we should all have.

"CPR is very important. When somebody goes into cardiac arrest, the chances of survival are increased by the response," said John Villanueva, with ATCEMS.

During Monday Night Football in the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game, Damar Hamlin took a blow to the chest during a tackle and collapsed on the field. His heart stopped beating. 

Medical professionals immediately began CPR and used an "automated external defibrillator" until they got a pulse.

"Every minute that CPR is delayed, or any type of assistance, chances of survival drop about 10-percent," said Villanueva.

It's for that reason Villanueva, the CPR program coordinator for ATCEMS, says we should all know this life-saving technique.

First: check to see if the patient is breathing.

"So, I'm looking at the chest, trying to see that chest moving. Also feeling and trying to hear them breathe."

If they're not breathing for 10 seconds, put your phone on speaker, call 9-1-1, and begin CPR.

"Right in the middle of the chest, place your hands, you'll want to interlock your fingers, try to keep your arms straight as you can and then start doing compressions," said Villanueva.

If you have access to an AED, use that.

"Pads will show you where they go, remove clothing from the patient's chest."

Once the pads are in place, stand away from the patient. The AED will talk you through the process.

"Everyone clear. Press the flashing shock button. Ready to shock, I'm clear, you're clear, press the shock button now. Hit the shock button. Shock delivered. Hands go on chest. Begin CPR. And, you'll start compressions again, and you'll just keep going,"

Continue doing this until you have a pulse, or help arrives.

"It's very important to know how to do it because if something does happen, you want to help, you want to intervene. Just as I mentioned, you want to get in there, you want to be part of that first response team, and you want to increase the chances of survival for that patient," said Villanueva.

ATCEMS offers CPR certification courses to the public. If you would like to sign up, click here.