Michael Schumacher’s condition has shown “slight improvement” over the last 24 hours following a second operation on Monday night to relieve pressure on his brain, doctors confirmed in a press conference at the Grenoble hospital on Tuesday morning.
The seven-time F1 champion is currently in a medically induced coma having undergone brain surgery on Sunday night after falling and hitting his head on a rock while skiing off-piste with his son in the French Alps.
“Very late in the evening (Monday) 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,” Grenoble Hospital Director General Jacqueline Hubert said.
Schumacher’s family, who released a statement yesterday thanking his medical team and the worldwide support, took the “difficult decision” to give permission for the second operation, which took two hours, to go ahead. “A new scan was carried out this morning and it shows slight improvements, slight radiological improvements,” continued Hubert.
Professor Jean-Francois Payen added: “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. 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 on of the initial legions.
“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 his 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.”
However, Payen stressed that the 44-year-old is not “out of danger” yet and that his situation remains critical: “The situation is better controlled than it was yesterday, but we can’t say he is out of danger, however we have gained more time. The hours to come are crucial. In intensive care things can go well or badly very quickly.”
Doctors said that there remained a number of lesions and hematomas on his brain that are currently inaccessible. They confirmed that he will remain in a coma for as long as is necessary and will monitor his condition on an hourly basis. They added that it is still impossible to make a prognosis on his future recovery.
More to follow…
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic