The entire NFL community is rallying around Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after his terrifying on-field collapse during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle in the first quarter. Medical personnel administered CPR and used an AED to restart his heartbeat before rushing him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further treatment. Hamlin’s health continues to be the main concern, with an outpouring of support coming from teams, players, and fans across the league.
Overview of Incident and Immediate Medical Response
In the first quarter with 5:58 left on the clock, Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard completion. Hamlin got to his feet then suddenly collapsed backwards onto the field. Medical personnel immediately ran over as it became clear Hamlin was unresponsive (video). Bills team trainers quickly began chest compressions while motioning for the cart to come out. An ambulance drove onto the field 7 minutes after Hamlin’s collapse as CPR continued. He received an AED shock on the field to restore his heartbeat before being loaded into the ambulance bound for the hospital.
The Bills team doctor accompanied Hamlin in the ambulance for the quick 2 mile trip to UC Medical Center. The game was temporarily suspended before ultimately being postponed, as all focus shifted to Hamlin’s health and recovery. Both teams returned to their locker rooms surrounded by family and friends, processing the traumatic events.
Timeline of Critical Medical Intervention
- 5:58 left in 1st quarter – Hamlin collapses on field after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins
- Immediately – Bills medical staff begin chest compressions
- 6:05 – AED used on field to restart Hamlin’s heartbeat
- 7 minutes after collapse – Hamlin loaded into ambulance, rushed to UC Medical Center
- Arrival at hospital – Hamlin admitted to ICU in critical condition
- Overnight – Placed on ventilator, sedation to allow body to recover
- Next morning – Shows signs of improvement, neurologically intact
The emergency medical personnel and Bills staff deserve immense credit for their swift response in those critical moments. Their preparedness with trained medical professionals and equipment like the AED onsite very likely helped save Hamlin’s life.
Hospital Course and Current Condition
Hamlin remains hospitalized in critical condition in the ICU at UC Medical Center as of Tuesday afternoon. He spent last night sedated and on a ventilator to allow his body time to recover. Doctors were encouraged that Hamlin appeared neurologically intact before sedation. He has also been able to move his hands and feet.
On Tuesday morning Hamlin awoke and was able to follow commands and grip people’s hands. Doctors were able to remove the breathing tube as Hamlin continues showing positive signs of improvement. He is still being monitored closely in the ICU. Doctors say the next 24-48 hours will be critical in his recovery process.
While Hamlin’s condition seems to be trending in a positive direction, he still has a long road ahead. The cause of his cardiac arrest remains under investigation. It is likely too early to speculate on any potential long-term health impacts. The primary focus remains supporting Hamlin during this difficult time as he recovers surrounded by family, teammates and the larger NFL community.
Outpouring of Support from NFL Community
The terrifying scene of Hamlin’s on-field collapse and the ambulance rushing off left players from both teams visibly distraught. As the NFL world waits anxiously for positive updates on his recovery, there has been an incredible outpouring of support and prayers for the young player.
Both the Bills and Bengals gathered together on the field and prayed for Hamlin before heading to their locker rooms when the game was suspended. Players from around the league immediately took to social media to send their thoughts and prayers to Hamlin and his family overnight.
By Tuesday morning, an avalanche of support was pouring in from teams, players, and fans across the NFL. The league community is rallying around one of their own during this difficult time. The Bills facility is adorned with signs of support. Teammates past and present along with players around the league are changing their avatars to Hamlin’s #3 jersey in solidarity.
A GoFundMe organized by Hamlin to support a toy drive in his hometown has skyrocketed to over $3 million in donations from over 130,000 people as fans find ways to show their support. The NFL world clearly has Hamlin in its collective thoughts and prayers during his recovery.
Looking Ahead – What This Means for Hamlin and the NFL
While the focus remains squarely on Damar Hamlin’s health in the coming days, there are also questions about what this incident means for both his playing future and discussions around player safety in the NFL.
Hamlin’s long-term playing status is uncertain until doctors determine what caused his cardiac arrest. He will need to undergo extensive testing to evaluate his heart health before any decisions about his football career can be made. Returning to the field will likely be a distant consideration during a long recovery.
The harrowing scene has also brought player health concerns in the NFL back into the spotlight. The physical toll of football has been debated heavily in recent years with more attention to concussions and their lasting impacts. Hamlin’s collapse raises more questions around trauma, equipment safety and the level of medical resources available during games.
While it is far too soon to speculate on potential changes, the NFL will likely review its emergency protocols. The league and players association may discuss augmenting resources available at stadiums. However, medical personnel and equipment like the AED were already onsite and able to save Hamlin’s life.
For now, the primary thoughts are with Damar Hamlin’s recovery. The NFL world will continue rallying around him and his family during this difficult time. Doctors, coaches, teammates and fans alike are all sending their unconditional support.
Frequently Asked Questions
What caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field?
The exact cause is still under investigation. It was not immediately clear what led to his collapse after making a routine tackle. Hamlin will need extensive cardiac testing to determine what triggered the cardiac arrest.
What was the immediate medical response?
Bills medical staff began chest compressions right away. The onsite ambulance arrived in 7 minutes. An AED was used to restore his heartbeat on the field before transport to the hospital. The quick emergency response was critical.
What is his current condition?
As of Tuesday, Hamlin remains hospitalized in critical condition in the ICU. He is showing positive signs of improvement after being sedated and put on a ventilator overnight. He is neurologically intact but still has a long recovery.
When could Hamlin potentially return to football activities?
It is far too early to speculate on a possible timeline. Hamlin will need to undergo extensive cardiac testing first to determine the cause and ensure his heart health is compatible with playing. His long-term prognosis remains uncertain.
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How has the NFL community responded?
There has been an immense outpouring of support from teams, players, and fans across the league. The football world is rallying around Hamlin during his recovery, offering thoughts, prayers and donations.
Could this lead to any changes in NFL safety policies?
The league will likely review its emergency medical protocols, but personnel and equipment like the AED were already onsite. Any larger discussions around player safety will come later. The focus now is on Hamlin.
How can fans continue to show their support?
Fans have flooded Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser, raising over $3 million. Others are displaying #3 jerseys and leaving well-wishes on social media. The best way to continue supporting is to keep Hamlin in your thoughts and prayers during his recovery.