Schumacher condition critical, but ′improved′ after second operation | News | DW | 31.12.2013
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Schumacher condition critical, but 'improved' after second operation

Michael Schumacher's doctors in Grenoble have said the Formula One world champion's condition is improved after an overnight operation. They said it was still too soon to predict future development.

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Schumacher undergoes second operation

Doctors in Grenoble on Tuesday said they conducted an overnight operation on Michael Schumacher, with familial consent, and noted slight improvements afterwards. The medical team said that evening scans had revealed a window of opportunity to operate, and that subsequent scans pointed to some improvement.

The medical team again stressed, however, that it was too soon to offer predictions about future developments, saying they could only offer information on the current developments.

"The situation is more under control than yesterday but we cannot say that he is out of danger," Jean-Francois Payen, head anesthetist at the CHU hospital in Grenoble told the news conference. "We have won some time but we must continue an hour-by-hour surveillance."

Schumacher was airlifted to the Grenoble hospital after a skiing accident near the major resort of Meribel on Sunday. The experienced and skilled skier was on an off-piste run with his son when he fell, hit a rock and suffered severe head injuries.

Still in 'fragile, critical' condition

The medical staff said that lesions remained in Schumacher's brain. Payen said Schumacher remained in "a state that can be considered ... as fragile, critical," a sentiment echoed by his colleague Emmanuel Gay, head neurosurgeon, who cautioned: "Be aware there's still a long way to go."

The doctors said on Monday that Schumacher's accident would probably have been fatal if he had not been wearing his protective ski helmet.

The life-threatening incident involving the world's most successful single-seater racer has prompted thousands of well-wishes from all over the world. Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper on Tuesday ran the headline: "Schumi: The Battle."

Current Caterham Formula One driver Giedo van der Garde was among the first to respond on Twitter to Tuesday's development.

"I am happy to hear some positive news about Schumacher... Keep fighting!!! #SchumiGetWellSoon #KeepFightingSchumacher," van der Garde wrote.

Anesthetist, emergency room doctor and former Formula One series doctor Gary Hartstein, meanwhile, in a Tweet described the information shared in Grenoble on Tuesday as "VERY interesting and quite positive."

"Globally, with the 'usual' bumps and detours, things are following the path they 'should'," Hartstein wrote.

msh/tj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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