Doctors tending to Michael Schumacher at the CHU hospital in Grenoble, France have said that they carried out a second operation on the German last night following a scan which had revealed that there has been a “slight improvement” in his condition.
However doctors stressed that he remains in a “critical” condition.
At around 10pm last night the operation was carried out, after his family gave their consent, and it lasted around two hours.
“Another brain scan was carried out and we could see a slight improvement and 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,” said Jacqueline Hubert, the CHU director general.
“A new scan was carried out this morning and it shows slight improvements, slight radiological improvements.”
A further note was added: “We can’t say he is out of danger but we have gained more time. The hours to come are still crucial to the outcome.”
His body is being kept at a cool temperature to help reduce the swelling in the brain.
Further updates will be given when there is a change in his condition.
Former FIA F1 doctor Gary Hartstein, who has been maintaining a running commentary of medical notes on Twitter (@former_f1doc), responded by saying in a tweet, “I will blog at length about this but this is a VERY interesting and quite positive press conference.”
In a first draft of the blog he mentioned above, Hartstein said: “Michael is in VERY good hands.The decision to evacuate the second, intracerebral, hematoma seems to me, a non neurointensivist, to make sense.
“It sounds retrospectively that Michael’s ICP was worrisomely and persistently high yesterday, despite the right sided bone flap not having been closed.
“The decision was made to gain some room, and drain what sounds like superficial left-sided hematoma. These are usually left alone, and it had previously (and reasonably) been decided NOT to touch this one. But given the ICP problem, and that overall the brain was less “angry”, it was decided to evacuate it, especially as this meant leaving the left sided bone flap off.
“This leads me to insist on just how sick Michael was yesterday. These guys were sweating bullets, doing everything known to man to help, and they deserve a lot of credit. But this was SERIOUSLY life threatening minute to minute yesterday.
“I think we can A) reset all the countdown clocks we started yesterday (time to reduce sedation, time to wean from vent, etc). And B) insist on just how severely Michael is injured. Be patient. This is gonna take a long time.”
It is now 48 hours since Schumacher fell while skiing off piste and hit his head on a rock. Doctors confirmed that the helmet he was wearing had certainly saved his life.
Schumacher’s former rival David Coulthard has written an exceptional piece in the Telegraph today, expressing a sentiment that sums up the response to Schumacher’s plight,
“The awful thing is that so often it takes something like this before we say what we truly feel about someone,” he wrote.
Here’s the link to the story Telegraph