Lowcountry hospital on the importance of knowing CPR

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2023 at 4:40 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials at Roper St. Francis say while cardiac events like that suffered by Lebron James’ son Bronny or Buffalo Bills star Damar Hamlin could be horrible luck, it could be something completely preventative.

Dr. Kristine Falk, an interventional cardiologist at Roper St. Francis, says 100 to 150 elite athletes suffer from cardiac arrest per year across the country. Just one of the things that can prevent them from dying is knowing how to do CPR.

Falk says CPR involves quality chest compressions over the center of the chest, most often done to the beat of the popular Bee Gees song, “Stayin’ Alive.”

In the case of Bronny James, Falk says CPR started immediately and then was followed by a defibrillator. She says it’s important to call 911 first, start the chest compressions and only use the defibrillator if you have it and feel confident enough to use it. However, CPR is more important.

Falk says D1 male athletes have a 10x higher risk of suffering from cardiac arrests and doctors just don’t know why. She says it’s important for everyone to know CPR or at least have one designated person as the “heartbeat” of the family.

“Having a screening, baseline exam is always a good idea,” Falk said. “Particularly, if you’re competing in sports or if you have a family history or maybe you haven’t made the best lifestyle decisions and you’re like, ‘Man, I need to get to the doctor. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one.’ Now’s a good time.”

Falk says you can schedule an appointment now for one of these check-ins at Roper St. Francis.