Damar Hamlin’s doctors are struggling to keep him breathing without a ventilator after he suffered a mid-game cardiac arrest that left him in critical condition.

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Cincinnati
CNN

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains sedated on a ventilator after suffering a heart attack midgame Monday as doctors work to get him to breathe on his own, according to an update from the player’s brother.

His brother, Dorrian Glenn, told CNN on Tuesday night that the 24-year-old was still in critical condition after interrupting the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals for several moments. . Before being overwhelmed by the excitement of Hamlin’s hit on the Bengals wide receiver.

Within seconds, paramedics rushed to the field to perform CPR and CPR on Hamlin in front of colleagues kneeling, praying or openly crying and hugging.

Hamlin would be resuscitated twice that night — once in the field and a second time when he was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was being treated Tuesday night, his brother said.

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“I’m not a screamer, but I’ve never cried so much in my life. My nephew died in the field and to find out he was brought back to life,” Glenn said.

According to Glenn, Hamlin is on a ventilator to relieve pressure on his damaged lungs. Doctors told Glenn that his nephew had also been “turned on his stomach” at the hospital to help the blood in his lungs, and he said, “It looks like he’s trending positive.”

The game was suspended with about six minutes left in the first quarter and then officially postponed. The NFL said Tuesday that play will not resume this week and that no decision has been made on whether to resume later.

Injuries on the field are common in a league that continues to play even after serious conditions, but several current and former players were particularly concerned about Hamlin’s cardiac arrest as medical personnel fought to save his life as fans and players watched.

Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins said he realized the seriousness of his teammate’s condition when Hamlin continued to stay on the ground as more medical personnel were called.

“At that point, you just think, ‘What can I do?’ What can we do?’ It immediately breaks you in prayer,” Dawkins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Believer or not, only a higher power can truly control the future. this is high power.

Hamlin’s collapse is just the latest in a series of tragic blows to Buffalo’s players and community in recent months, which have been hit by a racist shooting in New York’s Erie County that killed at least 41 people and a historic blizzard. “You know, (was) a consistent hitter for Buffalo,” Dawkins said.

An overwhelming outpouring of support surrounded Hamlin and his family as prayers and well wishes poured in from star athletes, fans and national leaders. The charity that the player started for his Chasing M’s Foundation toy drive has raised nearly $6 million since his hospitalization.

During a prayer service for the player Tuesday night, community members described the heartbreak of seeing “one of ours” endure such a crisis.

“Now all you can do is pray for Damar. A man, not a football player, not Buffalo Bill, but a man. He has to get over it,” said Gillian Hanesworth, the city’s poet laureate.

It’s not yet known what caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest — a condition caused by electrical disturbances in which the heart suddenly stops beating properly. Death can be rapid if immediate help is not provided. It’s not like a heart attack or heart failure.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained that when the heart is not beating properly, fluid sometimes backs up into the lungs, preventing medical staff from providing oxygen to the patient. Thus, they turn the person on the stomach in a lying position to facilitate breathing.

Gupta also said that Hamlin still has significant heart dysfunction and that his heart cannot pump enough blood.

One treatment option is to reduce the body’s demand for oxygenated blood, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“So you want to improve circulation, but at the same time you can reduce the demand by keeping someone sedated and on a ventilator,” he said. “Sometimes they even use cooling agents, hypothermia, which actually puts the body into hibernation, so it doesn’t need as much oxygenated blood. That’s one reason why it’s on the fan.

In a statement Tuesday, the Hamlin family thanked the staff at UC Medical Center for their “exceptional care of Damar.”

“On behalf of our family, we express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this difficult time. “We have been overwhelmed by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans all over the country,” the statement said.

Several star athletes, including a tennis player Coco GaufNFL legend JJ Watt and NBA legend LeBron James applauded the NFL’s decision to postpone the game and emphasized the importance of Hamlin’s safe recovery to the outcome of the game.

Former NFL player Donte Stallworth says the league’s decision to postpone the game would not have happened a few years ago. “Five or 10 years ago, the game could have started again,” he told CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

“I don’t know if you can make the game much safer,” he said. “It’s a brutal sport. I think people forget that. Sometimes they treat players like commodities, especially in fantasy football. Sometimes we forget the human side, that players are actually human. people and they have families and they have wives and children,” he added, noting that “Hamlin’s mother was there to testify.”

Dawkins said he was relieved and thankful his team didn’t have to continue the game.

“The fact that we don’t have to go back on that field and play just shows that there’s care, and all we can ask is that we’re treated like human beings,” he said. “Because most people treat us like athletes, superstars, and some like celebrities, but then they treated us like people.”

Bills players and staff were still processing the events of Monday night, a team source told CNN’s Coy Wire.

The ongoing stress of Hamlin’s hospitalization — in addition to a mass shooting in the city in May, a deadly blizzard in December, moving to a November home game in Detroit and being stuck in Chicago over the weekend — took a toll on everyone. club, the source said.

“It’s all sold out,” a Wire source said, adding that the team’s flight back to New York didn’t land until 3:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

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