Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills defensive back, was at Capitol Hill on Wednesday to advocate for the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at youth athletic events.
Bills' Damar Hamlin Visits Capitol Hill, Calls For More AEDs In Schoolshttps://t.co/P4qezg0I0F pic.twitter.com/0CK6eBoFNz
— Cherumbu News (@sanalnly) March 29, 2023
Stressing on the importance of AED and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), both of which were administered to him when he suffered cardiac arrest while visiting the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, Hamlin said that he cannot recall knowing about them when he was in school.
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“As I was growing up playing football, I don’t recall ever thinking about CPR, or knowing where an AED was in my school or on the athletic field,” he said at a press conference.
“With my coaches on the field and my family in the stands, we didn’t plan what would happen if sudden cardiac arrest happened to me, or one of my teammates.”
Hamlin was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers at Washington DC. Per reports, he was on a Capitol trip to help present the Access to AEDs Act, formally introduced by Reps. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Bill Posey.
Among those to join Hamlin at the Capitol was Chuck Schumer. Supporting the Access to AEDs Act, Schumer said that he will pull all strings to bring his “colleagues on both sides of the aisle on board and get this bill [to] become a law and passed this year.”
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and #Bills Damar Hamlin on Capitol Hill today
Signed jersey reads "thank you for the love and support" pic.twitter.com/YjPiYlilSm
— Rachel Hopmayer (@rachelhopmayer) March 29, 2023
“Sudden cardiac arrest happens to more than 7,000 kids under the age of 18 every year in our country,” Hamlin continued, citing data from the American Heart Association.
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“For schools that have AEDs, the survival rate for the children from sudden cardiac arrest is seven times higher. … Every kid should have the same access to a lifesaving emergency response that I did, should they need it.”