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How awful. What a great sportsman and gentleman. Let's hold him and his family in our thoughts and hope for the best.
 

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F1 champion Schumacher in critical condition

Please allow me while I deviate a bit from the normal discourse here to bring you the sad news that seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher is reported this evening to be in critical condition in a French hospital, having slipped into a coma from a brain hemorrhage, the result of hitting his head on a rock while snow skiing.



As owners of sophisticated machines that are able to achieve great speeds, we appreciate what it means to command a gas pedal to make us "go fast."

In the case of Schumacher, 42, leaving now would amount to much too fast.

Michael Schumacher In Critical Condition After Cerebral Hemorrhage
 

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Quoting one of the tweets from the story.

It's quite well known that extradural hematomas, a kind of cerebral hemorrhage, can leave a lucid interval after injury.
Schumacher was conscious and talking minutes after the fall. An eerily similar circumstance as what led to the death of actress Natasha Richardson a few years ago after a skiing accident. Time is said to be critical when treating an injury like this.
 

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Yes, he was airlifted from the first hospital to a bigger one where there was a neurosurgeon available. I've since read one report that he was improving, and another that he was worse.
 

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I have also been following this from Sunday Morning on. Thank God he was wearing a helmet. They said if he was not, he would not be alive at this point.
Fingers crossed.
Ron
 

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Sounds like he has an epidural hematoma, the "talk and die" head injury. Initially knocked out or confused, then come to and converse as normal. As the bleeding continues and pressure on the brain increases a coma or death results. Very serious situation. Hope he pulls through.

Head injuries are unpredictable. Some people wake up and are fine, others don't wake up or if they do have severe cognitive deficits. Could be days, weeks or months before we know. Thoughts and prayers go out to Schumi and his family.
 

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I really hope he can recover from this. We can't afford to lose another legend in this sport.
 

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Doctors Say Racing鈥檚 Schumacher Is 鈥楩ighting for His Life鈥

By JOHN F. BURNS

Published: December 30, 2013


LONDON 鈥 Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver in the history of Formula One motor racing, with seven world drivers鈥 championships, is 鈥渇ighting for his life鈥 with brain injuries sustained on Sunday when he hit his head on a rock in a skiing accident in the French Alps, his doctors said on Monday.


They said it was too early to say whether Schumacher, a 44-year-old German, would survive, or what the extent of his brain injuries might be. They said that his family, including his wife, Corinna, and his teenage son and daughter, were at his bedside, and that the medical team was working continuously to save his life.

鈥淯nfortunately, he had some lesions to his brain when he came in, he had some diffuse injuries to his brain, but we can鈥檛 really say what the outcome will be,鈥 Dr. Jean-Francois Payen, an anesthesiologist who is leading Schumacher鈥檚 medical team at the Grenoble University Hospital Center, told a news conference.

鈥淗e鈥檚 in a critical situation and we can say he鈥檚 fighting for his life,鈥 Dr. Payen said. 鈥淲e judge him to be in a very serious condition.鈥 He added, 鈥淲e are working continuously, hour by hour, but it鈥檚 too early to say what鈥檚 going to happen, and to give a prognosis.鈥

No further medical updates were issued in Grenoble, and medical experts said the success of treatments for injuries like Schumacher鈥檚 was notoriously hard to predict. They said the treatments would focus on lowering the pressure inside Schumacher鈥檚 skull as his brain swelled from the bleeding associated with the lesions.

Further underlining the gravity of the injuries involved, those waiting in vigil at the hospital included several figures who were central to Schumacher鈥檚 career in grand prix racing, including Jean Todt, the Frenchman who was manager of the Ferrari team when Schumacher won five consecutive world drivers鈥 championships from 2000 to 2004, and who now heads the F茅d茅ration Internationale de l鈥橝utomobile, the Paris-based governing body for world motor racing.

Also at the hospital was Ross Brawn, the Englishman who was the Ferrari team鈥檚 technical director during Schumacher鈥檚 championship years, and his team boss when he drove for the Benetton and Mercedes teams in the years that bracketed his career at Ferrari.

The news conference came nearly 24 hours after Schumacher, whose Formula One career spanned 21 years before his retirement in 2012, was airlifted by helicopter off the mountainside at M茅ribel, the Alpine resort in southeastern France, near the Italian border.

Resort officials said Schumacher had been skiing with his 14-year-old son, Mick, in an off-trail area between two of the resort鈥檚 main ski runs 鈥 the Biche and the Mauduit 鈥 when he fell and struck his head on a rock. The officials described the site of his accident as being part of a wide, treeless snowfield, known for its deep snow and for the challenges it presents for experienced skiers, including posted avalanche warnings.

Schumacher, who has a chalet nearby, has a reputation as an accomplished skier, and resort officials said he was wearing a helmet when he fell. His medical team told the news conference that the severity of his impact with the rock, causing the lesions on the right side of his brain, was such that he would have died had he not been wearing a helmet.

鈥淲ithout a helmet, he wouldn鈥檛 be here now,鈥 Dr. Payen said.

Doctors and resort officials emphasized the swiftness of the medical assistance Schumacher received after his fall. They said he was reached rapidly on the mountainside by an emergency rescue team that included paramedics, then airlifted initially to a small hospital in the nearby town of Mo没tiers. After a rapid medical assessment there, they said, he was taken, again by helicopter, to the larger medical center at Grenoble, where he arrived barely 90 minutes after the mountainside impact.


Dr. Payen said Schumacher was conscious, but in 鈥渁n agitated condition鈥, when he reached the Grenoble hospital. 鈥淲e had to operate urgently to relieve the pressure on his brain,鈥 he said.

After the operation, he said, Schumacher had been maintained in what he described as a medically induced coma, a common treatment in cases of severe head injury. Dr. Payen described it as intended to prevent further brain damage through the 鈥渁nimation鈥 of the brain that might occur if Schumacher were conscious.

As the world of motor racing absorbed the news of the accident, there was a widespread sense of the ironies involved in Schumacher, dominant for so long in grand prix racing, a sport synonymous with high risk, suffering such severe injuries in retirement, while engaging in a favorite family pastime.

As a driver, Schumacher was known for his aggressive, win-at-all-costs style, and had a history of on- and off-track confrontations with other drivers.

His ruthlessness, and the disciplinary hearings he faced in front of the sport鈥檚 authorities, led many commentators to judge him, despite his many victories, to have fallen short of a position in grand prix racing鈥檚 pantheon, alongside such legendary drivers as the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

The worst injury he suffered in the sport was a broken leg, the result of his Ferrari鈥檚 brakes locking and pitching him into a trackside tire barrier during the British Grand Prix in 1999. He emerged unscathed from several other high-speed crashes, a beneficiary of the vastly improved safety measures in Formula One, many of them adopted after the fatal accident incurred by the Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna at the Imola track in Italy in May 1994. Schumacher, then challenging Senna for supremacy in the sport, was running immediately behind Senna when the Brazilian veered off the track.

There has been no fatality in Formula One since.

Doctors at Grenoble suggested that there should be no great surprise that a skier 鈥 even one as attentive to his fitness as Schumacher, and as accomplished on the slopes 鈥 should incur such grievous injuries. Dr. Payen and others on the medical team said that serious head injuries, even among skiers wearing helmets, were regarded as a common occurrence among physicians working in hospitals close to major skiing centers like the French Alps.

Messages from prominent figures in sports and motor racing poured in to the hospital, including one from the current world champion, the 26-year-old German Sebastian Vettel, nicknamed the baby Schumi by the tabloid press and reckoned by many to be a driver capable of challenging Schumacher鈥檚 record of 91 grand prix wins.

Vettel told the German news agency DPA, 鈥淚 am shocked and hope that he will get better as soon as possible.鈥

Jenson Button, the British McLaren driver who was one of Schumacher鈥檚 main rivals during his Ferrari and Mercedes years, told reporters, 鈥淢ichael, more than anyone, has the strength to pull through this.鈥

Schumacher鈥檚 former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, a Brazilian who suffered life-threatening head injuries at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, sent his thoughts in a posting on the photo sharing service Instagram, in the caption of a picture of himself and Schumacher embracing each other. 鈥淚 am praying for you, my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!!鈥 he wrote. 鈥淕od bless you, Michael.鈥

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/sports/autoracing/schumacher.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ref=todayspaper

gb: So, skiing is more dangerous than F1 racing or singing duets with
Cher.
 
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