Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in “critical” condition after collapsing on field

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The January 2, 2023, football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills will be a memorable one, but not in a pleasant way. In this game, 24-year-old Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field in front of millions of viewers.

It started off like most other Monday night matches, with the Bengals hosting the Bills at Paycor Stadium. During the first quarter, Hamlin executed an open-field tackle on Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins at 8:55 PM Eastern time.

Both men fell to the ground, and Hamlin stood back up for several seconds before falling backward and collapsing a second time. He received immediate medical attention as Buffalo trainers came rushing on the field within 10 seconds, and an ambulance arrived on site in less than five minutes.

Medical personnel performed CPR on Damar Hamlin in a scene Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Kelsey Conway described as “tragic” and “horrifying.”

The game was suspended at 9:18 PM with just 5:58 on the clock. The ambulance left the stadium at 9:25 PM, and the match was officially postponed at 10:01 PM.

ESPN confirmed that Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field. As of today, January 3, the Bills have reported that Hamlin is sedated and in “critical condition.” He is being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Unsurprisingly, this incident is drawing attention to player safety. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive VP of operations and a former cornerback, said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, noted, “I think it’s possible to make the game safer, but it’s tough to make it completely safe. It can be a violent, brutal game.”

Donte Stallworth, another former NFL player, called Hamlin’s collapse “devastating” and added, “Have never seen anyone have CPR administered to them on the practice field or the game field.”

The postponement of the game has been praised as it considered the mental and physical health of members of each team. Both players and coaches were visibly distraught over the incident, with several of them in tears over the shocking medical emergency.

All that is known of Damar Hamlin’s prognosis is that the next 12-24 hours will be crucial to his recovery.

Cover Image: Buffalo Bills

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