Damar Hamlin pushes for AED access in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON - As Damar Hamlin continues his remarkable recovery, the Buffalo Bills player is using his platform to push for student and student-athlete safety.
On Wednesday, Hamlin, several families, and lawmakers were on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to push for access to automated external defibrillators (AED).
A bill introduced by Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.) and Bill Posey (R-Fla.) would establish grants for CPR and AED training in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. The legislation would also authorize the purchase of AEDs for schools, and create awareness campaigns and cardiac emergency response plans, The Hill in D.C. reported.
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The legislation has gained support from other lawmakers, professional organizations, and sports organizations like the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, WNBA, MLS, and the NCAA, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati reported.
Last year, Hamlin collapsed on the field after making what appeared to be a routine tackle in the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football on Jan. 2, the Associated Press noted. He went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. The game was suspended and eventually canceled.
One of the families joining Hamlin is the Mangine family, who experienced a personal tragedy.
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Matthew Mangine Sr. lost his son Matthew Mangine Jr., a northern Kentucky teenager who died in 2020 after collapsing during soccer practice, according to WLWT-TV.
In 2021, Matthew and Kim Magine launched the Matthew Mangine Jr. "One Shot" Foundation to promote awareness, education, and medical safety measures in competitive youth and high school sports, WLWT noted.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 Americans – including about 7,000 children – experience cardiac arrests outside the hospital each year. AEDs have step-by-step instructions for individuals without training to use them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.