HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — A Pennsylvania State Senator announced last week he intends to introduce legislation known as “Damar’s Law.”
The proposed legislation, named after Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, would require an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) be present at any sporting event hosted by a school district in the commonwealth.
Hamlin experienced sudden cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2.
In a memo, Sen. Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) said Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during the game points to how critical timing and preparation are in the event of an emergency.
“Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not only a leading cause of death across the general population in the United States, but also the leading cause of death among student athletes participating in athletic practices and competitions,” said Flynn in the memo. “During a recent professional football game, we witnessed the harrowing incident of SCA involving Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, including the immediate response from trainers and medical personnel. Thankfully, we also have seen him make tremendous strides in his recovery.”
Flynn added that most schools have AEDs on premise, however, he wants to make sure that they’re also available at all school sporting events and that athletic personnel are prepared use them.
“Additionally, all coaches would be required to complete training on the proper use of AEDs. These requirements would ensure that the most critical component to increasing survivability after SCA is addressed: time,” said Flynn. “Damar Hamlin is a reminder that even elite athletes experience SCA. His recovery has been described as ‘miraculous’ by many, though it is undeniable that the immediate response saved his life,” Flynn added.