BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Millions of people witnessed Damar Hamlin’s horrifying collapse in the first quarter of Monday night’s Bills game in Cincinnati.

The Bills said that Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field. CPR was performed on him on the field in the immediate aftermath before he was brought to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what exactly cardiac arrest is. What is it? Jennifer Pratt, the senior communications director for the office of the CEO of the American Heart Association, joined News 4 at 4 on Tuesday to talk about it.

She says that cardiac arrest is when someone’s heart malfunctions and stops. When someone goes into it, CPR is the only way to save them before medical help arrives. Pratt says seconds and minutes matter in these situations.

“Effective and immediate CPR and defibrillation is needed right away to save a cardiac arrest victim,” Pratt said.

She said that if you are certified in CPR, you should not be afraid to start performing when it is needed.

Many have discussed getting certified on social media. Pratt says that chances are, if you have to perform it, it’ll be on a loved one as three out of four cardiac arrests that do not occur in a hospital occur at the victim’s home.

You can watch the full segment above. To find a CPR course to become certified, click here.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.