Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Launches #3forHeart CPR Challenge


After an on-field cardiac arrest, Hamlin partnered with the American Heart Association to spotlight the importance of CPR

Anyone watching the January 2 Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals will surely remember the moment when Damar Hamlin collapsed minutes into the first quarter.

The 24-year-old Bills safety took a hit to the chest during a tackle, stood up, and then fell, prompting a swarm of team physicians to storm the field and begin administering treatment. Within 10 seconds, Hamlin began receiving CPR on the field, before being transported to a local hospital in critical condition.1 After being transferred to a hospital in Buffalo, Hamlin announced on January 11 that he was being discharged from the hospital to continue his rehabilitation program at home and with his team.2

And on February 1, Hamlin marked the start of American Heart Month, launching the #3forHeart CPR Challenge in conjunction with the American Heart Association (AHA).3,4

The 3-step social media challenge is simple, calling for people to learn CPR, donate to the AHA to fund CPR education and training, and share the campaign using the #3forHeart hashtag on social media.

“I’m excited to be teaming up with the American Heart Association,” Hamlin said in an AHA statement.3 “It’s going to be an amazing opportunity to impact and educate millions of people on the importance of CPR. It literally saved my life.”

To kick off the campaign, Hamlin challenged LA Lakers star LeBron James, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, and former first lady Michelle Obama.3

Video copyright Jaster Athletes. Courtesy of the American Heart Association.

According to the AHA, more than 436,000 Americans die each year from cardiac arrest. Globally, cardiac arrest accounvts for more deaths than colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers; influenza, pneumonia; car accidents; HIV; firearms; and house fires—combined. Crucially, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests each year take place outside of a hospital setting, and data show that bystander CPR can double or triple an individual’s chance of survival.5

Unfortunately, only approximately 40% of people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate care that they need before emergency medical services arrive.5

CPR is a core competency for health care providers, and many schools of pharmacy and training programs require a current CPR certification, as do many state’s boards of pharmacy. Pharmacists who are authorized to administer immunizations must also have a valid CPR certification; per the American Pharmacists Association Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate training program,6 although CPR or basic cardiac life support (BCLS) certification is not a prerequisite for the program, the resulting Certificate of Achievement is invalid “without written proof of current CPR or BCLS certification.”

“The world watched in fear when Damar collapsed during that game,” said Nancy Brown, AHA CEO, in a statement.3 “But if you follow his advice, you can become a lifesaver in 3 steps, and you’ll know what to do in the event an adult or teen suddenly collapses in your presence.”

“Because most cardiac arrests that happen outside of a hospital occur in the home, the life you save will most likely be a loved one,” Brown added. “The volunteers, supporters, and staff of the American heart Association are so grateful that he is paying it forward and helping ensure others also have a better chance for a positive outcome.”3

For more information on the #3forHeart campaign, visit

Thumbnail image copyright Jaster Athletes / Shane McFarland. Courtesy of the American Heart Association.


  1. Close D, Sanchez R. A timeline of the NFL’s response after Damar Hamlin collapsed. CNN. Published January 3, 2023. Accessed February 2, 2023.
  2. Cwik C. Damar Hamlin discharged from hospital, cleared to rehab at home and with the Bills. Yahoo! Sports. Published January 11, 2023. Accessed February 2, 2023.
  3. Damar Hamlin launches #3forHeart CPR Challenge. News release. American heart Association. February 1, 2023. Accessed February 2, 2023.
  4. Damar Hamlin’s #3forHeart CPR Challenge. American Heart Association. Accessed February 2, 2023.
  5. CPR facts and stats. American Heart Association. Accessed February 2, 2023.
  6. Pharmacy-based immunization delivery. American Pharmacists Association. Accessed February 2, 2023.
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