[Breaking news update, published at 10:15 a.m. ET]
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight and he is “making remarkable progress in his recovery,” the team said Friday morning, four days after the 24-year-old suffered in-game cardiac arrest.
“His neurological function is intact and he is able to communicate with his family and care team,” it tweetedciting physicians at the Cincinnati hospital where he is being treated.
[Original story, published at 9:36 a.m. ET]
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has made “substantial improvement” at a Cincinnati hospital following cardiac arrest during their game on Monday, doctors announced Thursday, and is now awake and moving his arms and legs.
The 24-year-old can communicate by shaking his head, nodding or writing brief notes, but cannot speak now because he is on a ventilator, Dr. Timothy Pritts, a member of his medical team, told reporters. Upon waking, Pritts said, Hamlin’s mind was still on the game as he wrote his first question on a clipboard: “Have we won?”
“So, we know that not only are the lights on, we know that he is home. And it appears that all cylinders are firing within his brain,” said Pratts, who is at the University of Cincinnati Health. is the vice chairman of clinical operations, where Hamlin is being treated.
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Still, the medical team cautioned that there are many stages ahead of Hamlin’s recovery. Pritts said the player, who was sedated and intubated after his collapse, is still seriously ill. The doctors did not tell exactly when he started waking up.
Hamlin collapsed Monday during the first quarter of the Bills’ game against the host Cincinnati Bengals. He was carried off the field in an ambulance, to a packed stadium – with players left crying and hugging – and inspired an outpouring of support from strangers across the country, including millions who watched the medical treatment live on live TV. Saw the emergency.
The NFL announced Thursday the Bills-Bengals game – which was initially postponed to Monday night – would not be rescheduled or made. Many players in the league, shaken by Hamlin’s collapse, are now preparing for an emotional return to competition to play their final games of the regular season on Saturday and Sunday.
That includes the Bills hosting the New England Patriots on Sunday and the Bengals hosting the Baltimore Ravens. The league is working on a plan to honor Hamlin at all 16 contests this weekend, two people familiar with the matter told CNN’s Oliver Darcy.
Both the Bills and Bengals have already clinched playoff berths. While the cancellation of Monday’s game will have no effect on which teams qualify for the playoffs, it could change seeding and which teams host certain games — and give the NFL a Friday to finalize adjustments. are supposed to.
“It’s been a very rough week,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday. “We continue to be focused on Dahmer Hamlin’s recovery and are encouraged by the improvement in his condition, as well as the outpouring of support and care for Dahmer and his family from across the country. We also incredibly appreciate the amazing work of the medical personnel and appreciate each and every one of them.
Here are the latest developments:
• Hamlin has made “quite remarkable improvements”: Although Hamlin remains in intensive care, he is showing a “good neurologic recovery” and is awake and holding hands with family in the hospital, Pritts said Thursday.
• He has a long way to go: “This is a really good juncture in his ongoing care,” Pritts said, but “there are still many steps forward.” Dr. William Knight, director of emergency medicine, said Hamlin’s next big step would be to be able to breathe on his own without a ventilator.
• The cause of cardiac arrest is still unknown: Knight said tests are underway to determine the cause of the heart attack. Cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical disturbance that causes the heart to suddenly stop beating properly, and death can occur quickly if help is not given immediately; It is not the same as a heart attack or heart failure.
, Hamlin lost his pulse on the field: Knight said that while surrounded by medical teams on the field, Hamlin lost his pulse and had to be administered CPR and defibrillation as fans and teammates looked on. The doctor said that after that he was put in an ambulance and reached the hospital about 30 to 45 minutes after the fall.
, Bill is back at work: The team met on Wednesday and had its first full practice of the week on Thursday in preparation to host the Patriots on Sunday. Head coach Sean McDermott said the team is getting “incremental updates” from the medical staff as well as from Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head athletic trainer Nate Breske. “I think we just keep hearing good news about Dummer, it just drives us forward,” quarterback Josh Allen told reporters on Thursday.
• “People are going to change forever”: Allen said the players have had “some very open and honest and deep conversations” since their teammate was hospitalized on Monday. About returning to practice, he said, “I think it was a really cool thing for our team to wear that helmet back,” … to be on the field and see it and feel those emotions.”
News of Hamlin’s wake was met with a multitude of messages of support and relief from NFL players. A spokesperson for the company said that since his fall, supporters have honored the player, donating more than $7 million to his charity fundraiser and making his jersey the most purchased athlete’s jersey at sports apparel store Fanatics. has made it.
Hamlin’s family and Allen have also brushed off online criticisms of Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tye Higgins, who collided with Hamlin moments before he collapsed. A family spokeswoman has said that Higgins has been in contact and “has been supportive.”
“I hope he got some relief today,” Allen said of Higgins while speaking to reporters on Thursday. “It’s a football game, and I hope he doesn’t hold it to himself, because there’s nothing he could have done in that situation.”
Doctors and members of the Bills team have repeatedly commended the prompt action of medical personnel, who arrived seconds after Hamlin collapsed.
Assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington performed CPR on Hamlin as he lay on the field, Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins tweeted Thursday. McDermott said Thursday that the trainer saved Hamlin’s life.
“As they say, practice pays and it did in this case,” the coach said at Thursday’s post-practice news conference dedicated to Hamlin. “But again, the context of it, the need for an assistant to get himself in that position and take that action that he did and step up and as he did — and there were other people on the field — anything less Isn’t it amazing and (the) courage that took, you talk about a real leader, a real hero in saving Dummer’s life.
According to audio obtained by CNN, medical personnel working on shore at the time of Hamlin’s collapse called for help. “I don’t like how he went down,” and “we need everybody,” he said.
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alan Sills on Wednesday spoke about a “60-minute meeting” held between medical teams and NFL officials before every game to identify medical equipment and the location of nearby medical centers and establish a attributed the rapid medical response. chain of command inter alia in emergencies.
In Thursday’s announcement of the official cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game, which was suspended after Hamlin’s collapse, the NFL detailed portions of its decision-making, including that the game’s outcome had no impact on teams qualifying for the playoffs. Will have to
The Bills and the Bengals have already clinched playoff spots, but are jockeying for higher seeds in the American Football Conference after the season.
Making a decision to restart or not play would force the league to postpone the start of the playoffs by a week, the NFL release explained, a move that would have affected all 14 clubs that have qualified. .
Ultimately, making a decision before Week 18 still allows all clubs to know their playoff prospects before their final game of the regular season, the league said.