by Beth Briggs, MS, ATC

A multitude of words about Athletic Trainers have been written in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s tragic on-field injury during the Bills – Bengals football game several weeks ago. When Hamlin collapsed on the field from cardiac arrest, Athletic Trainer Denny Kellington performed critical, life-saving resuscitation.

While we’re not all in the spotlight of Monday Night Football, we don’t diminish the fact the work you do of pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying makes you an industrial athlete. As such, there could come a time when a rapid response is needed from you! Let’s look at a brief walkthrough on how to perform CPR.

What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency procedure performed when the heart stops beating. It includes chest compressions and artificial ventilation to keep blood flow active in the body until trained medical staff arrive onsite.

How to perform CPR:

1. Survey the Scene

Check to make sure it is safe for you to attend to the person, check for initial impressions (how many people are in need of help, obvious signs of what may have caused incident), and put on personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves or breathing barriers.

2. Assess for Consciousness

Check to see if the person is responsive to sound, movement, or pain.

  • You can check by tapping the person and asking “are you okay?”, if they do not respond, you can use your knuckle to rub along their sternum to see if they are responsive to pain
  • If they are still not responsive, check for breathing. Place your ear to their mouth to see and feel if they are breathing
  • If they are not breathing, check for a pulse. On the side of their neck or on the thumb side of the wrist, use your fingers to feel for a pulse
  • If you cannot feel a pulse or are unsure, proceed to the next step

3. Call 911

Help is needed, so call 911 or assign someone to do so. If available, send someone to get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

4. A Firm, Flat Surface

If the person is not lying flat already, move them to a firm, flat surface on their back.

5. Give 30 Chest Compressions

Using 2 hands, place your hands in the middle of the chest at nipple height, providing 30 compressions.

  • Place your shoulders directly over your hands, locking the elbows out
  • Compressions should be 2 inches deep
  • Compress at 100-120 beats per minute (approximately the tempo of “Staying Alive” or “WAP”)
  • Let chest rise back up to initial position between compressions

6. Give 2 Breaths

Check to see if the person is responsive to sound, movement, or pain.

  • Using the head tilt/chin lift method, tip the head back as to open the airway
  • Each breath should last at least 1 second
  • Ensure the chest rises with each breath, and allow chest to fall back to resting position

7. Continue 30/2 Cycle

Continue the 30/2 cycle until either an AED becomes available or trained medical staff arrives.

**Did you know Work Right offers your workforce CPR and AED training? Find out more info here!

Beth Briggs, MS, ATC || Beth Briggs is a Red Cross certified First Aid and CPR instructor in Normal, Illinois. When not teaching CPR or working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs, cooking, and binging too many episodes of Criminal Minds.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!