Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was “beginning to awaken” on Thursday morning after collapsing on the field during a game Monday against the Cincinnati Bengals, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said at a news conference.
“As of this morning, he is beginning to awaken, and it appears that his neurological condition and function is intact,” said Dr. Timothy Pritts, a trauma surgeon at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Doctors: Hamlin able to communicate in writing, asked who won Bills-Bengals match
Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 5: Doctors said Thursday that Hamlin regained consciousness Wednesday night and that he was able to follow commands and even to ask who won Monday night’s game.
“He was able to communicate in writing,” University of Cincinnati Medical Center trauma surgeon Dr. Timothy Pritts said.
Hamlin remained on a ventilator in critical condition on Thursday, though doctors said his condition was substantially better than it had been in the 24 hours prior.
“To paraphrase one of our partners, you know, when he asked, ‘Did we win?’ the answer is, ‘Yes, you know, Demar, you’ve won. You’ve won the game of life,’” Pritts said. “And that’s probably the most important thing out of this, and we really need to keep him in the center of everything that’s going on.”
The surgeon added that doctors “really want to ensure a good outcome for him.”
Unclear what caused Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest, doctors say
Update 2:20 p.m. EST Jan. 5: Doctors said Thursday that it remained unclear what caused Hamlin to suffer a cardiac arrest during Monday’s game.
“That workup is ongoing,” Dr. William Knight said, adding that doctors “do not have definitive answers.”
“Tests will continue to be ongoing as he continues to progress,” he said.
Doctors credit Bills medical team for swift response
Update 2:15 p.m. EST Jan. 5: At a news conference on Thursday, University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors credited the Bills medical team for quickly recognizing the seriousness of Hamlin’s condition on Monday.
Dr. William Knight said on-field medical staff realized Hamlin had a cardiac arrest quickly, which “allowed for a very immediate resuscitation on the field.” He said that he could not credit the Bills’ medical staff enough for their initial response.
“It is incredibly rare to have something be this serious that happens like that,” he said.
Earlier, trauma surgeon Dr. Timothy Pritts said that Hamlin was showing “substantial improvement” and that his neurological function appeared to be intact.
“It’s been a long and difficult road for the last three days,” Knight said. “(Hamlin) has been very sick and has made a fairly remarkable recovery and improvement to the point, at Tim noted, (where) he is now demonstrating that sign of good neurologic recovery as well as overall clinical improvement.”
Doctors say they’ve seen ‘substantial improvement’ in Hamlin’s condition
Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 5: Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Thursday that they have seen a “substantial improvement” in Hamlin’s condition in the last 24 hours.
“We had significant concern about him after the injury and after the event that happened on the field but he is making substantial progress,” Dr. Timothy Pritts, a trauma surgeon at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said at a news conference.
“As of this morning, he is beginning to awaken, and it appears that his neurological condition and function is intact. We are very proud to report that, very happy for him, and for his family, and for the Buffalo Bills organization that he is making improvement.”
Pritts added that Hamlin remained in critical condition as his treatment continues.
Teammate confirms Hamlin ‘awake and showing more signs of improvement’
Update 11:30 a.m. EST Jan. 5: Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam said in a Twitter post that Hamlin “is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement” on Thursday.
“Thank you God,” he wrote. “Keep the prayers coming please. All love 3!”
Report: Hamlin awake, holding hands with family at hospital
Update 11:07 a.m. EST Jan. 5: Hamlin’s agent told CNN that the Bills safety is awake and has been holding hands with family in the hospital.
— Lauren Silver, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Original story: Bills officials said in a statement Thursday that Hamlin “has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours.”
“While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact,” the Bills said. “His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.”
Hamlin collapsed on the field after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of Monday night’s Bills-Bengals match. The Bills said the 24-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest. Family members and representatives said Hamlin had to be resuscitated at least once at Paycor Stadium.
On a media call Wednesday, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said officials were investigating to determine a possible cause, according to CNN.
Team officials said Tuesday that Hamlin remained in critical condition at the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Family members have asked the public to keep him in their prayers.
The Bills-Bengals game was indefinitely postponed after Hamlin’s collapse.
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