Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin is medically cleared to return to the football field

By Natalie Kruvant | Fact-checked by MDLinx staff
Published April 18, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin collapsed on the football field earlier this year. Life-saving measures were used to revive him.

  • Commotio cordis, a rare heart issue, caused his collapse.

  • Hamlin is now medically cleared to return to the football field just a few months after the incident.

Damar Hamlin, 25-year-old safety for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, suffered cardiac arrest earlier this year while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has now been cleared to return to the field. 

"He's in a great headspace to make his return," said Brandon Beane, the team's general manager, during a press conference

Hamlin, who was hit during the game, collapsed on the field. It was later confirmed that commotio cordis caused him to become unresponsive.[]

Commotio cordis is a relatively rare condition, with fewer than 30 cases reported annually. It can be caused by a baseball or sports equipment like a hockey stick hitting the chest.[] 

In Hamlin’s case, CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) were used on the field. He was then transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he stayed for over a week. The quick use of CPR and an AED most likely helped save his life.   

His story sparked support from around the nation, and he became a spokesperson for more AED device access. He helped a bipartisan bill aiming to increase AED and CPR training in schools gain traction.[] 

He also met with President Joe Biden, who tweeted a photo of the football player at the White House, saying his “courage” and “resilience” were inspirational to the country. 

It's not known exactly when fans will see Hamlin on the field, but the excitement about his recovery is clear.

“Now it’s about the comeback,” Beane says.

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