Damar Hamlin ‘much improved’ after on-field cardiac arrest and now writing to doctors asking who won Monday’s Bills-Bengals matchup: Doctors say he ‘won game of life’

The good news continued for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Thursday afternoon as doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said he has ‘substantially improved’ after suffering cardiac arrest during Monday’s game against the Bengals.

‘He is starting to wake up and it appears that his neurological status and function are intact,’ Dr. Timothy Pritts of the UC College of Medicine said in a video press conference.

Hamlin was knocked unconscious after being resuscitated on the field on Monday, but began communicating with doctors in writing on Wednesday because his verbal communication is hindered by his breathing tube. The 24-year-old defensive back also asked doctors at Monday’s game, which was postponed indefinitely after taking a fall in the first quarter.

‘Our response was: Asphalt, you win,’ Prits told reporters. ‘You have won the game of life.’

Damar Hamlin is awake and showing signs of improvement after suffering cardiac arrest and being revived during Monday’s Bills-Bengal game in Cincinnati

Both Pratts and Dr. William Knight of the University of Cincinnati said the speed of doctors’ response after Hamlin’s collapse on Monday was critical in saving the Pittsburgh native’s life.

Paramedics were at Hamlin’s side within a minute of his fall and immediately realized that he had no pulse.

Injuries happen in sports, but few are rare [that] incredibly serious [that quickly],’ Prits said. ‘We can’t credit [the Bills medical] Team enough.

‘It’s been a long and difficult road for the last three days,’ Knight said. ,[Hamlin] There has been a significant improvement.

Despite his improvement, it is unclear when Hamlin will have his breathing tube removed.

‘Every patient is different,’ Knight said. ‘When relatives of patients ask, how long will they stay on ventilator, in ICU,’ [we’ll say]as long as it takes.’

Pritts said the ‘best outcome’ would be for Hamlin to ‘be the person he was before all this happened.’

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati addressed the media on Thursday about Hamlin's condition.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati addressed the media on Thursday about Hamlin’s condition.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and Buffalo Bills react as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) is on the field after a collision in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Pecor Stadium.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and Buffalo Bills react as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) is on the field after a collision in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Pecor Stadium.

The good news comes as the 12-3 Bills prepare to host the New England Patriots on Sunday. Buffalo still has a chance to wrestle the top seed in the AFC playoffs away from the 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs, depending on whether the NFL orders last week’s game against Cincinnati to be completed. .

One option is to cancel the remainder of the Bills–Bengals game, and use winning percentage to determine playoff seedings in the AFC. Such a move would give the Chiefs an edge in a first-round bye and home-field advantage after the season.

Of course, football is hardly the most pressing matter as Hamlin continues to recover and other players face the daunting task of returning to the field.

The NFL and its players’ union provide mental-health resources to players and coaches throughout the league.

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Alan Sills told reporters this week, ‘I think it’s certainly important that we acknowledge what a huge pressure this is on everyone involved.’

‘Certainly, the teams, the medical care providers, the staff – and it’s not just for Buffalo and Cincinnati – but all of our teams.

‘Each of our clubs has the resources, and we have focused on preparing as such. Our clubs have deployed those resources with their counselors and their mental health professionals. And that support extends throughout the NFL family, and will be an ongoing need. It is something that will continue and it is something that we will continue to push for.

The NFL and its players' union provided mental-health resources to players and coaches throughout the league.  NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills (pictured) told reporters,

The NFL and its players’ union provided mental-health resources to players and coaches throughout the league. NFL chief medical officer Dr. Alan Sills (pictured) told reporters, “I think it’s certainly important that we acknowledge what a huge amount of pressure this is on everyone involved.”

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