Local cardiologists encourage community to learn CPR and how to use AED

Central Illinois Proud (Peoria, IL)

January 3, 2023

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local cardiologists and medical leaders say it’s important for the Central Illinois community to know how to properly respond to a cardiac event.

Monday night, the sports world held its breath after Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

While we’re still working to learn exactly what happened, local doctors said it may be caused by the rare condition Commotio Cordis, after Hamlin made a tackle.

“It has to happen in a particular area, with a particular force but the most important thing is there is a risk window, which you’re talking about milliseconds,” said Dr. Sudhir Mungee, an international cardiologist with OSF Healthcare’s Cardiovascular Institute.

While the cause of Hamlin’s hospitalization may be uncommon, leaders with Advanced Medical Transport in Peoria said cardiac arrests are not.

“It’s very common. In fact, on average we respond to cardiac arrest episodes every day,” said Josh Bradshaw, community resource manager with AMT.

Surya Teja Chaturvedula, a cardiologist with UnityPoint Health, said many of those incidents happen while a medical professional is not present.

“As a matter of fact, 3/4 of these cardiac arrests happen at homes,” Chaturvedula said.

When a person is experiencing a cardiac arrest, local professionals say every second matters during the response.

“A person’s chances of survival decline by 10 percent for every minute that goes by that something isn’t being done,” Bradshaw said.

While awaiting professional help during a cardiac episode, cardiologists say it’s important to know how to quickly perform lifesaving measures like CPR.

“What you’re basically doing is you’re trying to mechanically, from external compression, try to squeeze the heart to send the blood to the vital organs,” Chaturvedula said.

It’s also valuable to have an automated external defibrillator or AED ready to go when it’s needed.

“They’re easy to use, even if you don’t know how, you can open it up, they talk to you, they give you instructions,” Bradshaw said.

The American Red Cross offers first aid training that only takes a few hours to complete. Advanced medical transport also encourages you to reach out if you have questions about the two life-saving methods.


“Illinois High School Association (IHSA) By-Law 2.150 requires that any student-athlete participating in any IHSA sport must have a certificate of physical fitness issued by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner prior to participating in a practice or game. All individuals who participate in IHSA football must complete a preseason acclimatization practice plan prior to participating in a game, and be properly equipped per the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Book for all practices and games. Additional protective equipment in the sport of football may also be worn as long as it is approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and the NFHS. The IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommends that all IHSA athletic practices and games have a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), advanced practice nurse (APN), physician’s assistant (PA), or physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois present.”


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