4 January 2014, 13:56

Schumacher's injury, 40-45% chance of recovery - doctor

Schumacher's injury, 40-45% chance of recovery - doctor

Patients with head injuries similar to motor racing champion Michael Schumacher have a 40-45-percent chance of recovery, said professor Jean-Francois Payen, the head doctor at the intensive care ward in Grenoble, France, where Schumacher remains in a coma after a severe skiing accident.

The doctor noted however that these were just the statistics. He believes the legendary Formula One driver, who has undergone two operations, will recover.

When a patient has such a serious injury, he may remain in a coma for weeks or even months, a German neurosurgeon said earlier. However, in such cases, it is hard to predict. Any developments are possible, he said.
Schumacher, the most successful Formula One driver of all time and seven-time world champion, hit his head on a rock when he fell while skiing in the French Alps on December 29. He has undergone surgery and remains in a in stable condition under an induced coma.

Camera on Schumacher's helmet taken by French investigators

French authorities investigating Michael Schumacher's skiing accident are inspecting a camera attached to the Formula One legend's helmet. A source close to French authorities handling the investigation disclosed the existence of the camera late on Friday saying it had been taken to see if it might yield any clues as to the circumstances of the accident.

Schumacher's 14-year-old son Mick, who was skiing with his father at the time, had also been questioned by investigators, the source said, confirming information reported by the French newspaper Dauphine Libere.

These developments in the probe came the day Schumacher turned 45 while still in unconscious in a hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble after his December 29 accident.

Fans marked the birthday with a silent vigil outside the facility, part of which was organised by Ferrari, Schumacher's former team.

French authorities are examining various factors in the ski accident, in which Schumacher's head hit a rock so hard his helmet was split in two.

Although he was conscious when airlifted from the unmarked run in the Meribel resort, where he owns a property, Schumacher was agitated and soon fell into a coma, prompting his transfer to Grenoble hospital.

He has undergone two operations to remove blood and pressure from his brain. His manager said in the last update on Wednesday that he remains in a critical but stable condition.

His family is at his bedside, including his wife Corinna, his two teenage children, his father Rolf and brother Ralph, who is also a racing driver.

Schumacher's family spend his 45 birthday in his ward, fans - outside hospital

Maria Balyabina

Today Michael Schumacher, seven-time Formula One champion, has turned 45. The racing driver is still in a coma after an off-piste skiing accident in the French Alps. Doctors say his condition is stable but critical. The Red Baron's fans remain optimistic: they are coming to the Grenoble hospital where the sportsman is being treated.

After suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, Michael Schumacher was put in a medically induced coma. The driver has already undergone two operations. Doctors say he is in a stable but critical condition. The mass media had suggested he may never come out of the coma and even if he did, due to his serious head injury, would not be able to return to a normal life. On the other hand, some doctors believe the fact that Schumacher is in good physical shape will help him cope with the injury. However, there has been no official comment yet as the race driver's doctors are not allowed to talk to journalists. At the moment, it's better to avoid making forecasts, Boris Gaidar, a brain surgeon and Russian Medical Studies Academy member, comments on the situation.

"Such things, as a rule, don't disappear without consequences. A person can be in a coma for a very long time and now the outcome is unclear. It depends on the position of the hemorrhage and which blood vessel the blood leaked from. When it's a cerebral hemorrhage everything depends on the equipment as it's very expensive and hard to maintain vital bodily functions. If proper conditions are provided, a person can live like this for ages," Gaidar explains.

Schumacher's fans leave warm messages on the driver's official social media page. His family thanked everyone who had expressed their sympathy and wished a speedy recovery to the F1 champion. A bunch of people gathered in front of the hospital to support Schumacher and his family, who spent the entire day in his ward, and carry out a silent vigil. From today onward, fans, who didn't only travel from France but from Italy and Germany too, intend to keep a round-the-clock watch. Security has been heightened, Sabine Khem, Schumacher's manager, says.

"The guards told me about an incident when a man disguised as a priest tried to get into Michael's ward. He was stopped and directed to the exit. And that's not the only case: journalists and fans don't stop trying to see him. It's unacceptable," she adds.

On December 29, 2013, Schumacher, skiing off-piste with his son in the French Alps ski resort of Meribel, fell and hit his head on a rock. Doctors arrived at the scene within a few minutes. The racer was taken to hospital in Moustiers by helicopter and then transferred to the hospital in Grenoble.

Voice of Russia, AFP, TASS

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