February 8, 2023

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Damar Hamelin update: Safety Bills has made a ‘significant improvement’ after in-game cardiac arrest, medical staff says, but his road to recovery could be long



CNN

The Buffalo Bills are a destructive Hamlin Achieve a “fundamental improvement” in the hospital afterwards Cardiac arrest in the middle of the game Monday, the doctors said, and he is now awake and moving his hands and feet.

Dr. Timothy Britts, who is part of the player’s medical team, said Hamlin is able to communicate by shaking his head, nodding, or writing brief notes. Upon waking up, Britts said, Hamlin’s mind was still in the game as he wrote his first question on the clipboard: “Did we win?”

“So, we know that not only are the lights on, we know he’s home. It seems like all cylinders are firing inside his brain,” said Britts, vice president of clinical operations at the University of Cincinnati Health where Hamlin is being treated.

However, the medical team warned that many stages of Hamelin’s recovery lie ahead. Britts said Hamlin — who had to be sedated and intubated after he collapsed — remains in critical condition and remains on a ventilator. The doctors did not say exactly when he started to wake up.

The 24-year-old collapsed Monday during the first quarter of the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was rushed off the field in an ambulance, crashing into a packed stadium and leaving his teammates visibly affected, crying and cuddling.

The NFL announced Thursday that the game — which was initially postponed for Monday night — has been cancelled. The league is working on plans to honor Hamlin before every game scheduled this weekend, two people familiar with the matter told CNN reporter Oliver Darcy.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed all clubs of his decision Thursday after contacting the leadership of the Bills, Bengals and NFL Players Association, according to a statement from the league.

“This week has been really tough,” Goodell said. “We continue to focus on Dummar Hamelin’s recovery and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition as well as the tremendous outpouring of support and care for Dummar and his family from across the country. We also incredibly appreciate the amazing work being done by the medical staff and commend each and every one of them.”

Here are the latest developments:

  • The medical team says: Although Hamlin remains in intensive care, he is showing a “good neurological recovery” while awake and holding hands with his family in the hospital, Brits said Thursday.
  • Tests to determine the cause are ongoing: “This marks a really good turning point in his ongoing care,” Britts said, but “he still has many, many steps ahead of him.” Hamlin’s next big milestone will be breathing on his own without a ventilator, said Dr. William Knight, director of emergency medicine. Knight said tests are still being conducted to determine the cause of the cardiac arrest.
  • Hamlin lost his pulse on the field: While surrounded on the field by medical teams, Knight said Hamlin lost his pulse and had to be given CPR and defibrillation while fans and his teammates looked on. The doctor added that he was then intubated in the ambulance and arrived at the hospital about 30 to 45 minutes after he collapsed.
  • Billing is back in action: the team Wed met And they held their first full week practice Thursday in preparation for hosting the New England Patriots on Sunday. The team’s head coach, Sean McDermott, said the team was receiving “additional updates” from the medical staff as well as from Bills general manager Brandon Bean and athletic coach Nate Prisk, who remains in Cincinnati. “I think the fact that we continue to hear good news about Damar, it moves us forward,” quarterback Josh Allen told reporters Thursday.
  • People will be changed forever. Allen said the players have had “very frank, honest and deep conversations” since their teammate was hospitalized on Monday. “I think it was a really good thing to have that helmet back on for our team,” he said of the return to training, adding, “But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say, some people are going to be changed forever after being on the field and watching that and feeling those feelings.”

News of Hamlin’s awakening was met with an outpouring of messages of support and relief from players across the NFL. Since his collapse, fans have honored the player and donated more than $7 million His charitable fundraiser A company spokesperson said his jersey is the most-bought athletic jersey at sportswear store Fanatics.

The Hamlin and Allen families also dismissed online criticism of Cincinnati Bengals receiver T. Higgins, who collided with Hamlin moments before he collapsed. A family spokesperson said Higgins reached out to her and “was supportive.”

“I hope he feels some relief today,” Allen said of Higgins while speaking to reporters Thursday. He added, “This is a football game, and I hope he doesn’t take that on himself, because there is nothing else he can do in this situation.”

Doctors and billing staff members repeatedly applauded the prompt action of the medical staff who rushed Hamelin seconds after he collapsed.

Bills offensive lineman Deon Dawkins tweeted Thursday that assistant athletic trainer Denny Killington performed CPR on Hamlin while he lay on the field. Coach McDermott also paid tribute to the coach on Thursday, saying he saved Hamlin’s life.

“As they say, practice pays off and it did in this case,” McDermott said at a post-workout press conference dedicated to Hamlin. “But again, the context of that, having the aide find himself in this position and needing to take the action he did and step up and take over as he did — and there were others in the field too — is not in short of astonishing and the bravery that it took, speaking of a true leader, a true hero , in saving a life of destruction.”

In audio obtained by CNN of medical staff who were working on the sidelines when Hamlin collapsed, the staff can be heard calling out to all hands for help, saying, “I don’t like how he fell” and “We’re going to need everyone.”

The NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sales, attributed the rapid medical response to a “60-minute meeting” held between medical teams and NFL officials before each game to locate nearby medical equipment and medical centers, and establish a chain of command in case emergencies, among others.

In announcing the official cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended after Hamlin’s collapse, the NFL detailed parts of its decision-making process, including that the outcome of the game would have no effect on teams qualifying for the playoffs.

The Bills and Bengals have already clinched playoff spots, but they really are Maneuver to get higher seeds in the postseason American Football Conference.

The NFL statement explained that the decision to play the game would have forced the league to delay the start of the playoffs by one week, a move that would affect all 14 qualified clubs.

Finally, the league said that making the decision before Week 18 still allows all clubs to know about playoff possibilities before the final game of the regular season.

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