American Football: Stricken Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin released from hospital after cardiac arrest against Cincinatti Bengals

Philadelphia Eagles pray for Damar Hamlin before their NFL game against New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles pray for Damar Hamlin before their NFL game against New York Giants. Photo credit: Getty Images

One week after he was admitted under emergency circumstances in critical condition, Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and flown back to Buffalo.

Physicians Dr William Knight IV and Dr Timothy Pritts are "thrilled and proud" to announce Hamlin is back in Buffalo. They say tests to determine the cause of Hamlin's cardiac arrest are ongoing.

Corresponding treatment and additional plans for his recovery can be modeled as a next phase.

"He is doing well and this is the next stage in his recovery," said UCMC.

Hamlin's medical team in Cincinnati have provided the update, saying the 24-year-old passed every test in his seven days there.

Hamlin will be under the care of a medical team in Buffalo, with communication between doctors in the two cities planned for several days.

The 24-year-old recovered rapidly, advancing from a ventilator to communicating via written message, then breathing on his own, talking to family, doctors and teammates, and began walking and consuming a regular diet over the weekend.

Life-saving procedures performed by Bills trainers on the field at Cincinnati during the first quarter of last week's game helped Hamlin reach intensive care at UCMC. He required CPR and use of a defibrillator moments after making a tackle with 5m 58s left in the first quarter.

Hamlin's uncle said medical personnel needed to resuscitate Hamlin twice - once at the stadium and again at the hospital - but concerns about brain function and faculties were dismissed. Hamlin began responding to verbal commands by squeezing the hands of doctors and loved ones, but he was still listed in critical condition.

Damar Hamlin on the sidelines before Bills-Bengals
Damar Hamlin on the sidelines before Bills-Bengals. Photo credit: Getty Images

UCMC's medical team gradually reduced the use of breathing aids as Hamlin's lung strength and capacity improved. By the end of the week, Hamlin was communicating with his Bills teammates, and talked in person with several friends and former teammates, including Eagles running back Miles Sanders and Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

A fundraising toy drive organised by Hamlin via Go Fund Me revealed measures of the love and support he received with donations from current and former NFL players, teams and fans, pushing 'The Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive' far past the goal of $2500.

By the time Hamlin's return to Buffalo was made public, the fundraiser was at US$8,628,530 (NZ$13.5 million), with more than 244,500 donations.