Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who collapsed on the field after suffering cardiac arrest during a game last week, has been discharged from the New York hospital where he was admitted on Monday.
Hamlin, 24, was originally admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and remained in critical condition there for days following the collapse, which happened on Jan. 2 as the Bills faced the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. While completing a tackle in the first quarter, Hamlin appeared to take a hit to the head and chest from Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins.
The collision temporarily stopped Hamlin’s heart, the Bills said later, and he was immediately given CPR before being rushed to the hospital. As Hamlin’s condition improved, he was transferred from Cincinnati to another hospital in Buffalo on Monday. The Bills confirmed that he had been discharged after undergoing “a comprehensive medical evaluation” in a statement shared on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
“Damar Hamlin has been discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, a Kaleida Health facility in Buffalo, NY,” the statement read. “Hamlin was admitted on Monday and went through a comprehensive medical evaluation as well as a series of cardiac, neurological and vascular testing on Tuesday
The statement also included comments from Jamie Nadler, a critical care physician and the chief quality officer at Kaleida Health, who was Hamlin’s care team lead during his hospitalization.
“We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills,” Nadler said, according to the team.
Hamlin’s condition was listed as critical for several days after his initial hospitalization in Cincinnati, the news of which quickly ushered in an outpouring of public support from the NFL player’s teammates, fellow athletes and fans. By Thursday, his health had turned a corner, and the Bills announced that Hamlin had “shown remarkable improvement” over the previous 24 hours.
“While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact,” the Bills said at the time. “His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.”
When Hamlin was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and transferred to Buffalo, a statement attributed to the hospital and tweeted by the Bills confirmed that he was “doing well,” calling the athlete’s transfer “the next stage of his recovery. Hamlin himself turned to social media with a message of his own on Monday.
“Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart,” he wrote in a tweet that listed Buffalo, New York, as its location. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling,” Hamlin continued. “The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world and more. Bigger than football!”
Exactly what caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest is still unclear. One day after his collapse, CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus explained that blunt force trauma to the chest area “in the exact right spot, at the exact right moment during his heartbeat” could have caused an arrhythmia, which is an irregular heart rhythm that disrupts blood flow to the brain.
Hamlin joined the Bills during the 2021 NFL Draft, following a successful college football career at the University of Pittsburgh, and played 14 games during his rookie season in a reserve role. The current NFL season is Hamlin’s first as a starter for the team.
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