On Jan. 2, in the first quarter of an NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, Bills defender Damar Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Both players went down then immediately stood back up. However, moments later, Hamlin again collapsed to the ground.
He did not get back up.
First responders tended to Hamlin, who had gone into cardiac arrest. They initiated CPR and administered defibrillation on the field for 10 minutes, on live TV and in front of both teams and thousands of fans. Players and coaches were in shock as they watched Hamlin being treated.
He was eventually transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center's intensive care unit. The game was postponed to a later date.
As of Jan. 4, Hamlin remains in critical condition.
The situation highlighted how suddenly cardiac events can occur in the workplace. According to the National Safety Council, about 10,000 cardiac arrests occur in the workplace each year. Yet half of U.S. employees cannot locate an automated external defibrillator (AED) at work to potentially help save a colleague.
SHRM Online gathered additional news on the topic.
Reports: Hamlin Had to be Resuscitated Once
Hamlin's marketing representative said that the Bills safety had to be resuscitated once after suffering cardiac arrest on the football field. Hamlin remains in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center's intensive care unit in critical condition following his on-field collapse during Monday's game against the Bengals.
NFL Emergency Serves as Reminder About Workplace Cardiac Events
An NFL field is a unique place of work, fully staffed with high-level physicians, doctors and emergency response teams. Most workplaces are not outfitted to that caliber. Michael Tully, assistant chief of administration for the Midland Fire Department in Midland, Texas, said companies should be trained and equipped to handle such situations.
Firefighters Offer Tips on How to Help Someone in Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest can be a life-or-death situation. Green Bay Metro Fire Department Lt. Shauna Walesh explained that someone who goes into cardiac arrest will likely collapse suddenly and stop breathing. It is important to dial 911 and administer CPR if you are trained in it.
Are Your Employees Prepared for a Workplace Medical Emergency?
The American Heart Association said that most employees aren't prepared to handle life-threatening health issues—like sudden cardiac arrest—in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends CPR and AED training as a best practice but doesn't require it, although some businesses that expose workers to specific safety hazards are required to offer such training.
8 Steps for Addressing Workplace Injuries
When an injury occurs in the workplace, HR professionals often navigate state workers' compensation statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and occupational safety and health standards. Plan now for the steps you could need to take later to handle workplace injuries.