At 10:00am (Irish time), a team of doctors from the CHU (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire) in Grenoble gave a press conference to assembled media from France and abroad on the state of the greatest ever Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher.
They confirmed that the German national – who had been skiing off-piste near the resort of Méribel – had received leisions to his head and that he was still in a “critical” condition.
The doctors also confirmed that Schumacher “was wearing a helmet”.
“His helmet protected him. Someone who would have had this accident without a helmet would not have made it to this point,” said Dr Jean-François Payen of the medical team in Grenoble.
Neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardès added: “We can say that from a clinical point of view, he was in a serious state with indications of arterial hypertension. He’s suffering from diffuse brain lesions. Our objective is to limit the increase of any intra-cranial pressure.”
Neurosurgery expert Pr Emmanuel Gay of the Grenoble medical team added that, “unfortunately, we are used to receiving head and spinal chord traumas (during the winter)… unfortunately it’s very common.”
For now, the famous patient is being kept at a stable temperature of “between 34 and 35 degrees – keeping him at that temperature. He is under general anaesthetic so as to reduce any stimuli.. Our aim at the moment is to reduce all exterior stimuli and give his brain plenty of oxygen,” said Dr Payen.
Only operated on once since his admission to the hospital in Grenoble, it was confirmed that the 44-year-old Mr Schumacher had “spontaneous movements only” and that he “didn’t respond to questions” that were put to him.
Dr Jean-François Payen of the medical team concluded that they were working “hour by hour” on the situation in what they saw as a race against time and that they were not in any position to speculate on what might develop from this point out.