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Damar Hamlin could be discharged from a Buffalo hospital in the next few days

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One week after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin appears to be healthy enough to be released from a Buffalo hospital within 24 to 48 hours, Michael Hughes, senior vice president and managing director of Kaleida Health, told CNN on Tuesday.

Doctors are optimistic that they will be able to determine if there were any pre-existing conditions that played a role in Hamlin’s January 2 cardiac arrest.

“Hamlin is undergoing a series of tests and evaluations today,” Kaleida Health said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute team is now tasked with identifying any possible causes of the event, potentially treating any pathology that may be found, as well as planning for his recovery, discharge and rehabilitation.”

Hamlin himself updated his fans on Tuesday afternoon.

“Not home yet,” Hamlin tweeted. “Still doing and passing various tests. Special thanks to the Buffalo General, it’s been just love since arrival! Keep me in your prayers please!”

Hamlin was transferred from a Cincinnati hospital to a Buffalo hospital on Monday after doctors determined his critical condition had improved to good or fair — exceeding expectations.

“We felt it was safe and appropriate to help him return to the greater Buffalo area,” said Dr. Timothy Pritts, chief of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, on Monday.

Hamlin’s parents flew home to Pittsburgh from Cincinnati, but then flew to Buffalo. They were on their way Tuesday from the Buffalo Bills’ practice facility and were due to arrive at the hospital to see Hamlin shortly.

Hamlin, a sophomore in the NFL, has been building strength in recent days after his sudden meltdown following a tackle against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

“He’s certainly been on what we consider a very normal to even accelerated trajectory since the life-threatening event he suffered,” Pritts said, “but he’s making great progress.”

Normal recovery from cardiac arrest can be measured in weeks to months, Pritts explained. But Hamlin has overcome this timeline at every stage and is neurologically intact.

Still, Pritts said it was too early to say when Hamlin might be able to return to normal life or what caused his heart to stop, saying more tests were needed.

Hamlin was sedated and on a ventilator for days after his cardiac arrest. On Friday morning, the breathing tube was removed and Hamlin began walking with some assistance that afternoon, his doctors said on Monday.

The safety condition was updated on Monday because his organ systems were stable and he no longer needed intensive care or respiratory therapy, doctors said.

“He walks normally,” said Dr. William Knight, a neurovascular critical care specialist who treated Hamlin at UC Health. “He is admittedly a bit weak. I don’t think that’s a huge surprise after what he’s been through, just getting his strength back. And that is part of his recovery process.”

Hamlin’s Monday release meant he could return to Buffalo, which created even more encouragement and anxiety for some of his teammates to see him again.

“Super excited that he is back in Buffalo and what a job the team of doctors and doctors did in Cincinnati, and now he is being taken care of so well here in Buffalo. We’re happy to have him back,” Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters on Monday.

After seeing him on Monday, McDermott said Hamlin was “tired” but looked happy. “Happy to be back in Buffalo and in an area he is familiar with. I know he’s taking it one step at a time.”

The coach also said his team has grown since Hamlin was injured, saying those experiences fuel growth.

“We will all have grown as people and, in this case, as men,” McDermott said, noting that there is a plan for players and staff to visit Hamlin “at an appropriate time.”

“Having him around will give us more comfort” and will inspire the team as it prepares for the postseason, McDermott said.

Though Hamlin wasn’t with the team when they played Sunday against the New England Patriots, his support was definitely felt.

When his team scored a touchdown, Hamlin set off alarms in the ICU, Pritts said.

“When the kickoff was executed back he jumped up and down and got up from his chair and triggered – I think – all the ICU alarms in the process but he was fine, it was just an appropriate reaction to a very situation. difficult. exciting game. He really liked it,” said Pritts.

Hamlin was “beyond excited” on Sunday and felt “very supported by the outpouring of love from across the league, especially from the Buffalo area. We learned this week that the Bills mob is a very real thing,” added Pritts.

The immediate medical response to Hamlin’s collapse helped save his life, and the Buffalo Bills are now encouraging people to learn how to administer CPR.

Assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington is credited with performing CPR when Hamlin lost a pulse on the field and needed to be revived through resuscitation and defibrillation.

The medical response was part of an emergency action plan that “involves staff, independent medical and athletic training staff, equipment and security personnel, and is reviewed prior to each game,” a Monday said. declaration of read accounts.

The team pledged support for resources including CPR certifications, automated external defibrillator units and guidance for developing cardiac emergency response plans in the Buffalo community, according to the statement.

“We encourage all of our fans to continue to show their support and take the next step by getting CPR certified,” the Bills said.

Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify Hughes’ remarks about Hamlin’s injury and recovery.