Schumacher’s brain injury an ‘ongoing risk’ as doctors attempt to reduce swelling
A neurosurgeon has said the injury Michael Schumacher suffered in a ski crash is likely to pose an ongoing risk as doctors attempt to reduce swelling and stem a potential brain bleed.
Reflecting on reports that the seven-times Formula One champion was communicating with doctors and family immediately after the accident, traumatic brain injury specialist Tony Belli said a sudden decline was typical of brain swelling.
He said: "From what we know, he is in a critical state and in intensive care at the moment.
"It's likely he will be on a breathing machine with complex monitoring equipment around him and he's likely to be in a coma still.
"Initially, from what I gather, he was talking and trying to reassure people but then he became unconscious quite rapidly.
"That would suggest that he probably had brain swelling and that's something that can happen quite often - people initially seem to be OK, and then the brain begins to swell up and things get more serious."
The consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham told ITV's Daybreak programme: "You're dealing with a swollen brain, and often the brain bleeds quite easily.
"The brain is very friable and it obviously has to be handled with a lot of care, particularly when it's swollen - it can actually sustain further damage during the operation itself.
"The bleeding in itself could be quite serious because, unfortunately, when the brain has been bruised, it can carry on bleeding for quite some time during the surgery itself."