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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

NFL Boosts Efforts To Prevent Cardiac Arrest Deaths

  • Action by league grows following harrowing on-field collapse of Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
  • Latest measures include expanded advocacy coalition, grants, training opportunities.
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Five months after the on-field collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, the NFL is expanding its efforts to prevent cardiac arrest fatalities among athletes.

The league has increased membership of the The Smart Heart Sports Coalition — the group it formed in March to advocate for widespread adoption of policies to prevent sudden cardiac arrest among athletes — to 26 organizations. Major properties joining the coalition include the NWSL, WNBA, WTA, and USTA.

The NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS have been coalition members with the NFL from the outset as the group works with lawmakers in pursuit of policy improvements, particularly those geared toward high school athletes.

“The addition of new partners to the coalition means more action, more impact, and wider reach,” said Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs, and policy.

The NFL has created a CPR Education Grant program that will supply $20,000 in funding to each NFL team for CPR and AED training and equipment, to be followed by a broader commitment to contribute more than $1 million to high schools around the country.

Those grants will be supplemented this summer by a new partnership between the NFL and American Red Cross to offer CPR education and certification opportunities to the public at league and team facilities.

In April, Hamlin was cleared to resume his NFL playing career, advancing his remarkable comeback from the near-death experience.

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