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F1 champion Michael Schumacher 'critical' after ski fall

 

Michael Schumacher, seven-time Formula 1 world champion, is in "critical condition" after a ski accident, says the French hospital at which he is being treated.

The 44-year-old German "was suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival" the hospital in the south-east city of Grenoble said in a statement.

Schumacher's management confirmed his critical condition, reports said.

He was skiing off-piste with his son in the Alps when the accident occurred.

Schumacher was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head against a rock, Meribel resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte said earlier.

Early reports had said his condition was not life-threatening.

Mr Gernignon-Lecomte said Schumacher was conscious when he was attended to by two ski patrollers who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers.

He was subsequently moved to the bigger facility at Grenoble.

The German, who is due to turn 45 on 3 January, retired from F1 for a second time in 2012.

Professor Gerard Saillant, a close ally and friend of Schumacher, and his former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, are at the hospital.

Prof Saillant is an expert in brain and spine injury. He oversaw Schumacher's medical care when the German broke his leg in the 1999 British GP.

The hospital statement was signed by the facility's neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anesthesia/revival unit, and the hospital's deputy director.

 

 

Love him or hate him was a great race driver and hope he pulls through ok. 

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Some good news hopefully to follow. 

Doctors treating Michael Schumacher have reported a 'slight improvement' in his condition, but are 'unable' to report that he is now out of danger.

 

 

 

Doctors treating Michael Schumacher have reported a 'slight improvement' in his condition after a second operation was carried out to relieve the swelling on his brain.

The 44-year-old remains in a medically induced coma having undergone brain surgery on Sunday after hitting his head on a rock whilst skiing in the French Alps.

A second procedure lasting two hours was carried out on Monday evening at approximately 10pm local time.

However, the Grenoble Hospital medical team have stressed that the former F1 World Champion remains in a 'critical' condition and is not yet out of danger.

"Very late in the evening (Monday) another brain scan was carried out and we could see a slight improvement and that allowed us to tell the family that we would be able to have another surgical intervention to reduce the hematoma and that surgical intervention took place overnight," Grenoble Hospital Director General Jacqueline Hubert said.

"A new scan was carried out this morning and it shows slight improvements, slight radiological improvements."

 

professor-emmanuel-gay-jean-francois-pay

Professor Payen and Professor !Removed! are two of the doctors treating Schumacher

 

The doctors were keen to stress that they had seen no signs of Schumacher's condition deteriorating.

"At the end of yesterday afternoon we had an improvement of intracranial pressure and we were able to carry out a scan without taking any kind on unnecessary risk," Professor Jean-Francois Payen added.

"That scan showed a few signs that were relatively stable and I would like to underline that - in other words we had no sign that there was a worsening of the initial lesions.

"At that moment, talking to our neurological surgeons, taking into consideration his state had slightly improved, we suggested we would carry out a surgical intervention that had not been originally envisioned but that allowed us in the evening to treat in a more efficient fashion and in a more radical fashion to try and eliminate this intracranial pressure.

"This was carried out during the night with relatively good efficiency which allowed us this morning to look at new images and we were able to see that this hematoma had been evacuated in a very correct and very satisfactory fashion and we now have a few signs that currently can allow us to feel that it is better controlled than it was yesterday."

Chief Neurologist Professor Emmanuel !Removed! carried out the operation on Monday evening, but says the situation is still changing by the hour.

"This was not the hematoma that had been removed the night before, this was a hematoma that was actually in the brain itself, but all the parameters last night allowed us to eliminate it and therefore together we decided to do so and at the same time to reduce intracranial pressure," !Removed! said.

"On the control scan that was carried out this morning the levels of intracranial pressure have improved, but the scan does show there are other legions on other parts of the brain and those legions are going to be supervised and followed up of course. We can't for the moment envisage much more - we are just going to be regularly supervising the situation on an hourly basis and that is all we can say today."

However, despite the positive news, Payen stressed Schumacher was still not out of danger and the medical team treating him were unable to make any predictions about the future.

"The situation is better controlled than it was on Monday, but we are unable to say that he is out of danger, however, we now have slightly more, we have gained a bit of time, with regard to development, but once again the coming hours are still critical," he said.

"This surgical intervention helped us to control the situation better and it is slightly better than yesterday, but to say he is out of danger, that I can't answer."

 

michael-schumacher-fans-hospital-flags_3

Schumacher fans leave flags outside the hospital

 

Professor Payen also revealed that they had not considered taking Schumacher out of his medically induced coma yet as they still have a number of other procedures to carry out.

"No we haven't reduced the treatment, he still remains in a coma and for the moment there is absolutely no question of evaluating from a neurological point of view and seeing how he will be when he wakes up," he said.

"At the moment we still have some other problems and some other treatments that have to be made. We are here to tell you what has happened over the last 24 hours, but we really cannot say anything about the future as it is too premature to do so.

"He is in a state of hypothermia and a medically induced coma - how long that will last? It will last as long as we judge to be necessary. There are no forecasts right now, none at all."

Family friend Professor Gerard Saillant, who is one of the leading orthopaedic surgeons in the world, was also present and whilst he is not involved in treating Schumacher he maintained no prognosis for the future should be drawn from the improvements overnight.

"I would just like to underline that we have decided to talk about objectionable signs, factual signs, what exists and what is present. Everything will be expressed in a transparent fashion, but it would be dishonest on our part and on your part to draw any conclusions from this about the future whether this be tomorrow, or six months or two years. It would be stupid to talk about it."

The doctors in Grenoble also revealed that transferring Schumacher to his native Germany had not been considered as the risks were too high.

"For the moment to envisage a transfer would be dangerous because of his medical condition which is still very fragile," Payen said.

"Afterwards that question will arise and we will decide once again in a collegial fashion at what point this transfer could be considered. However, once again at the moment, with the work we are carrying out as a medical team, with the support that we have from the large medical community, we feel it is important for him to be here and to be treated here."

Professor !Removed! emphasised that despite removing some hematoma in the latest operation, the scan still shows more in the brain, but says they will be unable to remove it.

"There is still some blood, there are still some hematoma everywhere - you cannot think that the scan is completely clear and that is why the situation must be looked at hour by hour because it is a serious brain injury and it could still develop," !Removed! confirmed.

"The others are not accessible - we are unable to have access to them - they will be supervised. They are not the same size as the one we operated on last night, so the situation is not the same at all. We do not intend to eliminate those other hematoma."

The hospital say they do not plan to hold daily press conferences and will only hold such updates on occasions when, such as today, there is progress to report.

Schumacher, who initially ended his F1 career at the end of 2006, retired for a second time in 2012 after a three-season comeback with Mercedes.

The German, who also raced for Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari, won the last of his world titles in 2004.

He won two with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Ferrari and winning five in a row from 2000. The 44-year-old has 91 career wins.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE

 

First time F1 legend's condition has been described as stable and non critical since the accident that LED to an induced coma

On the mend: Michael SchumacherOn the mend: Michael SchumacherGetty
Michael Schumacher’s condition was yesterday described as “stable” for the first time – without the rider “critical”.

But spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said the F1 legend , 45, was still in an induced coma in Grenoble, southeast France, after hitting his head while skiing on December 29.

Earlier, rumours were rife in German sporting circles that the seven-times world champion may not recover from the brain injury, which he sustained in the Alpine resort of Meribel.

But Ms Kehm said claims from anyone but Schumacher’s doctors or management were “pure speculation”.

She insisted medics had the full support of Schumacher’s family’s about his treatment and added: “Michael’s family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael.

“They trust them completely. Michael’s condition is still considered as stable.”

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Hopes fade for Michael Schumacher's recovery amid fears he may be 'in vegetative state after four-week coma'

 

Stricken Michael Schumacher's family poured out their heartfelt thanks to fans around the world today as fears for his recovery continue to grow.

Wife Corrine used the F1 ace's website to say:"We all know: he is a fighter and will not give up!"

The family added: "We are deeply moved that there is no let up in the good wishes for Michael from around the world. That gives us strength. Thank you all of you!"

But the support of 44-year-old Corinne, and his two teenage children, brother and closest friends did not mask growing worries that the seven-times F1 world champion's 23 days in an artificial coma means he is far from recovery.

Jean-Marc Orgogozo, Professor of Neurology at the University of Bordeaux said: "Every day, every week in a coma the chances decline that the situation is improving."

One Austrian website said 45-year-old Schumacher may suffer Apallic Syndrome, or persistent vegetative state.

A persistent vegetative state is one in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness.

It could mean if doctors did manage to bring him out of the medically-induced coma he could be unable to speak, move or feed himself.

The format.at news website said: "More than three weeks after the tragic skiing accident of the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher, hopes dwindle for a full recovery.

"For more than three weeks now Schumacher lies in a medically induced coma at the University Hospital in Grenoble. He is fed there with probes, washed daily and moved again and again to avoid a bed sores."

 

It goes on to speculate that the "severe damage" he suffered to his brain in a ski accident on December 29 could result in the permanent vegetative state suffered by around 10,000 of his German countrymen.

This would mean, if and when he is brought out of the coma by his medical team, "that his condition would hardly be different from the medically induced coma.

"Apallic Syndrome is always the result of a severe brain injury. The chance of recovery from Apallic Syndrome are far below 50 percent."

Schumacher's condition remains stable but there is a firewall of silence from his medical team about the intense battle being waged to try to bring him back to normality.

Brain injury patients are placed into artificial comas to reduce the amount of oxygen that flows into the brain, thus making it work less and giving it time to heal.

Such comas usually last for a maximum of two weeks, although there have been instances of patients being under longer.

As Schumacher enters his fourth week in such a state neurological experts are starting to doubt whether he might ever recover sufficiently to be brought out of his sleep.

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE

 

 

It comes after wild rumours started spreading on social networking sites, including Twitter, that the 45-year-old had passed away.

Getty / RexMichael Schumacher
Doctors treating Formula 1 ace Michael Schumacher  have been forced to deny the seven-times world champion has died.

It comes after wild rumours started spreading on social networking sites, including Twitter, that the 45-year-old had passed away.

A spokesperson for the Grenoble hospital where the racing driver is being treated immediately put out a statement saying: "The hospital denies that Michael Schumacher has died."

Meanwhile top neurosurgeon Dr. Munther Sabarini told how Schumacher’s brain cells will be “working together like a Formula One team” in a bid to get him to wake up from his six week long coma.

And because of his age and fitness he has better odds of recovering from the trauma.

He said:” So if a driver shows weakness, then another driver takes over under the new situation. So it is with the brain cells.

“You can support brain function with a lot of resources so the healing process is accelerated and cause as little damage as possible.

“Typically high-energy bodily functions are shut down during a coma. Only after awakening can they be enabled again. The vital signs are observed and corrected.

“It is then up to the doctors to do a great deal; physiotherapy, mental care, treatment of new or old diseases.

“Depending on the aid required the patient receives medication - usually called neuro vitamins - but the measures applied vary strongly from case to case.

“After awakening one needs a few months to a few years to learn to overcome physical changes. Young and healthy people like Schumacher have better chances to recover from such a trauma.”

The race ace’s medical team at the Grenoble University Hospital in France announced last week they are slowly reducing the anaesthetic that has kept the father-of-two unconscious since his low-speed ski accident on December 29 when he smashed his head on to rocks.

But the process could take many more weeks. Anaesthetic gases which may have accumulated in his body’s fatty tissue must be removed extremely slowly.

But there have been no facial or bodily responses to his environment, according to medical sources.

Schumacher will be receiving food through a tube to his stomach, oxygen via a hose from a machine next to his bed as he still cannot breathe independently.

His joints and muscles are massaged three times a day to prevent atrophy and bed sores.

The coma suppressed his swallowing reflex, pain perception and his respiratory drive. He has to be acutely monitored around the clock during this wake-up phase to see if such things are returning naturally.

But the greatest risk to Schumacher lying in a prone position is pneumonia, say experts.

The lack of a competent swallowing mechanism can make saliva run into the lungs and trigger the potentially lethal respiratory infection.

Andreas Pingel, medical director of the Centre for Spine Surgery and Neuro-Traumatology at the BG Hospital in Frankfurt told Germany’s Focus Magazine:” About 30 to 50 percent of all patients who lie in a coma as long as Michael Schumacher has get it.”

His blood is also thinned to prevent thrombosis and he is regularly turned and even stood straight up at times to keep blood flowing. He lies on a special air-filled mattress to prevent pressure sores and his urinary tract is under constant scrutiny because of the danger of waste bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing a potentially fatal infection.

 

Well hope it's not true to be fair the words "social networking sites" is enough for me to think BS!

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I dont think its true - there are too many eyes on them at the moment, they will be doing all that stuff to maintain his stasis and monitoring for indications of a recovery - getting him off the drugs and letting his body start taking over / or not will indeed take time

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What I was thinking he's been blinking too so with that in mind and the time he's been in the coma and not past away I think his chances of being alive are very strong now it's just a matter of knowing the damage it's done I'd be more worried about. I know it sounds horrible but if it's bad I think I would rather be dead :(

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Michael Schumacher 'now battling pneumonia' as doctors slowly bring him out of his coma following ski crash

 

Stricken Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has developed pneumonia as doctors try to bring him out of the artificial coma that he has been in since December 29, German media reported today.

Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, said that Schumacher, 45, developed the lung infection last week at the University Hospital in Grenoble. His spokeswoman Sabine Kehm refused to comment on the report, saying only it was 'speculation, and I do not comment on speculation.'

But Bild, which is known to have close contacts to the inner circle of the seven-time world Formula One champion, said he is being treated with strong antibiotics as his doctors try to ascertain just how dangerous the infection is.

 

Pneumonia is among the greatest life threatening conditions that can afflict people in Schumacher's position. The lack of a competent swallowing mechanism can make saliva run into the lungs and trigger the potentially lethal respiratory infection.

Andreas Pingel, medical director of the Centre for Spine Surgery and Neuro-Traumatology at the BG Hospital in Frankfurt told Germany's Focus Magazine only last week; 'About 30 to 50 per cent of all patients who lie in a coma as long as Michael Schumacher has, get it.'

 

Bild said it was not known if the 'recovery phase' - the slow decrease in anaesthetic that has kept Schumacher comatose since his low-speed ski-accident on December 29 in a bid to bring him around - has been interrupted as a result of the infection.

Professor Heinzpeter Moecke, Director of the Institute for Emergency Medicine at the Asklepios Clinic in Hamburg told Bild: 'Pneumonia is generally a serious and dangerous disease because the body is supplied with less oxygen and is overall very weakened.'

In someone like Schumacher, who has now been comatose for 46 days since being airlifted from the ski slopes of the French resort of Meribel after smashing his head on to a rock, his immune system is seriously weakened and the fear is of multiple organ failure and, ultimately, death.

Professor Moecke went on: 'One reason may be that the patient can not cough up secretions, which form in the neck and throat, because of a tube in the windpipe through which he breathes. A healthy person clears his throat or swallowing several times per minute, usually without realizing it. That protects the lungs.

 

Either an X-ray or clinical signs - such as high fever - LED to the discovery of the infection. His lung secretions were analysed to determine the best kind of antibiotics to prescribe to fight it.

Professor Moecke added: 'Often the drug is administered over a seven to ten day period.  If it works, there is a significant improvement after three or four days and the patient is out of danger. But there are also bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics, that extends the period of danger.'

He said the comatose racing hero would feel no pain or shortness of breath because of his coma and the drugs he will be receiving.

So far, there have been no facial or bodily responses to his environment, according to medical sources, as his reflexes are tested on a daily basis. He receives food through a tube to his stomach, oxygen via a hose from a machine next to his bed as he still cannot breathe independently. Three times daily his joints and muscles are massaged to prevent atrophy and bed sores.

The coma suppressed his swallowing reflex, pain perception and his respiratory drive. He has to be acutely monitored around the clock during this wake-up phase to see if such things are returning naturally - if at all.

His blood is also thinned to prevent thrombosis and he is regularly turned and even stood straight up at times to keep blood flowing. He lies on a special air-filled mattress to prevent pressure sores and his urinary tract is under constant vigilance because of the danger of waste bacteria entering the bloodstream and causing another potentially fatal infection.

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I do I know a few people don't like him going back to his days of racing with Hill. But his days racing then can't say he wasn't the best driver in the world of F1. And I was told by my Uncle he is a really nice guy he bumped into at an Airport in Germany said he stood talking to him for about 10 minutes. 

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A Geman paper (Bild) has reported Schumacher has recovered from the unconfirmed bout of Pneumonia and the family have released a statement saying they still strongly believe he will wake up

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/10636777/Michael-Schumacher-family-He-is-still-waking-up.html

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE

 

Gary Harstein says it is "less and less" likely the racing legend will recover after suffering serious brain injuries

 

The former chief doctor of Formula One believes fans of Michael Schumacher must prepare for "really bad news" following his horrific ski accident.

The racing driver has been in an artificial coma since December 29 after suffering terrible brain injuries in a crash at a French ski resort.

 

The former chief doctor of Formula One believes fans of Michael Schumacher must prepare for "really bad news" following his horrific ski accident.

The racing driver has been in an artificial coma since December 29 after suffering terrible brain injuries in a crash at a French ski resort.

Writing on his blog, Gary Harstein said: "As time goes on it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent."

He believes the world must brace itself for the worst possible outcome for the Ferrari legend.

"I always knew Michael was adored," he wrote.

"I spent years at circuits drenched in red by the Ferrari caps, flags, and shirts, and all of that for Michael. I'm still staggered by the depth and persistence of his fans' love for him.

"And whereas I worried more than a bit about what was going to happen when and if really bad news got announced, I've realised that perhaps the lack of status updates has given us all a chance to move on a bit, to process what's happening, and to start to... detach."           

Commenting on recent reports that Schumacher has lost 25 per cent of his body weight, Dr Hartstein said it is "entirely possible and, in fact, probable."

"Happily, the consequences are not particularly dramatic, at least immediately," he wrote.

"To be blunt, a patient in coma doesn't really NEED his or her muscles . . . with the exception of the diaphragm. The diaphragm, which like the heart is pretty much always active, resists atrophy rather better than other muscles, but it does atrophy.

 

"And having a machine doing the breathing for you is one of the best ways to see how disuse atrophy affects the diaphragm too. Unfortunately, and assuming (as I have until now) that Michael is being ventilated by a respirator, there is probably some degree of diaphragmatic atrophy at this point."           

Speculating on Schumacher's current condition, Dr Hartstein said that he is in a "persistent coma".

"As mentioned previously, the longer one remains in a vegetative state, the less the likelihood of emerging, and the higher the chances of severe ramifications if the patient does in fact emerge," he wrote.

"Most definitions consider the vegetative state to be permanent one year after the injury.

"Patients who are in a persistent/permanent vegetative state have lifespans that are measured in months to a few years. This depends on baseline function (extraordinary in the case of Michael, of course), the quality of nursing care, and other imponderables. They usually die of respiratory or urinary infections. Longer survivals have been described, but are exceptional."

Schumacher's spokeswoman said only last week that the waking-up phase of Michael is continuing and said that it will "take as long as it takes."

 

:(

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