New York State In-depth

Damar Hamlin has been released after spending more than a week in hospital due to cardiac arrest


Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin has been discharged from a Buffalo medical center, his club said Wednesday, after suffering more than a week of hospitalizations for a cardiac arrest he suffered this month during a “Monday Night Football” – game had suffered.

24-year-old Bill’s safety had shown signs of accelerating improvement in the days leading up to his release from Buffalo General Medical Center in New York, hospital officials said.

“We have conducted a series of tests and assessments and, in consultation with the team doctors, are confident that Damar can be safely released to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills,” said Dr. Jamie Nadler said in a statement the Bills released on Twitter on Wednesday.

Hamlin was initially hospitalized in Cincinnati when his heart suddenly stopped Jan. 2 after a tackle during a game against host Cincinnati Bengals, but was transferred to the Buffalo facility on Monday after doctors determined that the his critical condition had improved sufficiently for the move.

Buffalo Hospital doctors were trying to figure out why Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, Kaleida Health, the group of hospitals that includes Buffalo Medical Center, said before his discharge. These included whether pre-existing conditions played a role in the event, which shocked many across the country and sparked a huge outpouring of support for the sophomore NFL player.

On Tuesday, Hamlin was undergoing “a comprehensive medical evaluation and a battery of cardiac, neurological and vascular tests,” the Bills said on Twitter.

No cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest has been publicly disclosed.

“Special thanks to Buffalo General, it’s been nothing but love since arrival! Please keep me in your prayers!” Hamlin tweeted on Tuesday.

While in critical condition in Cincinnati, Hamlin was sedated and put on a ventilator for days. The breathing tube was removed Friday morning, and Hamlin began walking with some help in the afternoon, his doctors said Monday.

The health team focused on stabilizing Hamlin and improving his condition Monday as his organ systems were stable and he no longer required intensive care or respiratory therapy, doctors said.

“He is certainly on a very normal to accelerated path following the life-threatening event he suffered,” said Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, earlier this week. “He’s making great strides.”

Normal recovery from cardiac arrest can be measured in weeks to months, Pritts said Monday. Hamlin has beaten this timeline at every stage and is neurologically intact.

When Hamlin collapsed seconds after an open field tackle against a Bengals wide receiver, medical personnel rushed onto the field and quickly performed CPR — which helped save his life.

Hamlin’s heart had stopped and medical workers had revived it twice before rushing him to an ambulance and taking him to the hospital. The immediate actions taken by the medical staff were critical to “saving not only his life but his neurological function,” Pritts said.

The horrific scene, in which Hamlin suddenly fell on his back after standing up after the tackle, unsettled his teammates, the other players and millions of viewers.

The game was initially postponed and later canceled by the NFL — a decision several former football players said was a sign that players’ mental and physical health is a priority.

Now, the Bills organization is encouraging people to learn the critical, life-saving skill of performing CPR.

According to the statement, the team has pledged support for resources including CPR certifications, automated external defibrillator units and guidance on developing cardiac emergency plans within the Buffalo community. “We encourage all of our fans to continue to show their support and take the next step by earning CPR certification,” the Bills said.

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