Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin has been released from his club Buffalo Medical Center said Wednesday, more than a week after being hospitalized for cardiac arrest, he suffered during a “Monday Night Football” game this month.
Bill’s safety, 24, was showing signs of rapid improvement days after his release from Buffalo General Medical Center in New York, hospital officials said.
“We have completed multiple tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team’s physicians, we are confident that Dammer can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with Bill,” said Dr. Hamlin, a physician leading Hamlin’s care in Buffalo. Jamie Nadler, the Bills said in a statement released on Twitter on Wednesday.
Hamlin was initially hospitalized in Cincinnati when his heart suddenly stopped during a Jan. 2 game against the host Cincinnati Bengals, but was transferred to the Buffalo facility Monday after doctors decided his condition had improved enough.
Doctors at Buffalo Hospital are trying to determine why Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, Kalida Health, the hospital group that includes Buffalo Medical Center, said before his release. That includes whether pre-existing conditions played a role in the event, which shocked many around the country and drew massive support for the second-year NFL player.
On Tuesday, Hamlin “underwent a comprehensive medical evaluation as well as a series of cardiac, neurological and vascular tests,” the Bills said on Twitter.
No cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest has been publicly announced.
“Special thanks to the Buffalo General, it’s been nothing but love since arrival! Please keep me in everyone’s prayers! Hamlin tweeted Tuesday.
It will be up to Hamlin to determine when he will be around the team again while he recovers, Bills coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday.
“First and foremost thankful that he’s home with his parents and his brother, which is great,” McDermott told reporters Wednesday, as the Bills prepared to host the Miami Dolphins for a playoff game Sunday. No timetable has been announced for Hamlin’s return to professional football.
“We will release him (when he is in the team). His health is first and foremost in our minds as far as his situation goes and when he feels ready, we will welcome him back,” McDermott said.
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 assistance that afternoon, his doctors said Monday.
Health care teams focused on stabilizing Hamlin and his condition improved Monday because his organ systems were stable and he no longer needed intensive nursing or respiratory therapy, doctors said.
“He certainly has an accelerated trajectory from his life-threatening events that we consider very normal,” Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said earlier this week. “He’s making great progress.”
Normal recovery from cardiac arrest can be measured in weeks to months, Pritts said Monday. Hamlin beat that timeline at every stage and remains nervously intact.
When Hamlin collapsed seconds after an open-field tackle against the Bengals wide receiver, medical personnel rushed onto the field and quickly administered CPR – which helped save his life.
Hamlin’s heart stopped, and medical responders resuscitated it twice before he was placed in an ambulance and taken to the hospital. The immediate actions of the medical staff “were vital not only to save his life, but to his neurological function,” Pritts said.
The horrifying sight of Hamlin suddenly standing up after falling flat on his back unsettled his teammates, other players and millions of fans.
The game was initially postponed and later canceled by the NFL — a decision many former football players said marked a shift in prioritizing players’ mental and physical health.
Now, Bill’s organization is encouraging people to learn the critical, life-saving skills of administering CPR.
The team also pledged support for resources including CPR certification, automated external defibrillator units and guidelines for developing a cardiac emergency response plan within the Buffalo community, the statement said. “We encourage all of our fans to continue to show your support and take the next step by obtaining CPR certification,” Bills said.