Damar Hamlin makes ‘substantial improvement’ after cardiac arrest on field, doctors say

Damar Hamlin makes ‘substantial improvement’ after cardiac arrest on the field and is now writing to doctors asking who won Monday’s Bills-Bengals matchup: Doctors said ‘won the game of life’

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The good news continued for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin Thursday afternoon, when doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said he had made “substantial improvement” after going into cardiac arrest during the game. Monday against the Bengals.

“He is starting to wake up and it appears that his condition and neurological function are intact,” Dr. Timothy Pritts of the UC School of Medicine said in a video news conference.

Hamlin had been sedated following his CPR on the field Monday, but began communicating with doctors in writing Wednesday as his verbal communication continues to be hampered by his breathing tube. The 24-year-old defensive back even asked doctors who won Monday’s game, which he was suspended after he collapsed in the first quarter.

“Our response was: Damar, you won,” Pritts told reporters. You have won the game of life.

Damar Hamlin is awake and showing signs of improvement after going into cardiac arrest and being revived during Monday's Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati.

Damar Hamlin is awake and showing signs of improvement after going into cardiac arrest and being revived during Monday’s Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati.

Dr. William Knight of the University of Cincinnati said the speed of medics’ response to Hamlin’s collapse Monday was critical in saving the Pittsburgh native’s life.

Doctors were at Hamlin’s side a minute after he collapsed and immediately noticed that he did not have a pulse.

“It’s been a long, hard road over the last three days,” Knight said. ‘[Hamlin] He has made quite a noticeable improvement.

The Bills (12-3) host the New England Patriots on Sunday, and they may still have a chance to wrest the top seed in the AFC playoffs from the Kansas City Chiefs (13-3), depending on whether the NFL does or does not order 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 AFC playoff seeding. Such a move would give the Chiefs first-round bye-clinching advantage and home-field advantage in the postseason.

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