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Michael Schumacher may remain in a ‘persistent vegetative state’

  • F1 legend has been in a medically induced coma for nearly four weeks
  • Neurologist: ‘Every day the
    chances decline that situation is improving’
  • Austrian media speculate that seven-time champion has Apallic Syndrome
  • Family says they are ‘deeply moved’ by support from fans around the world

By
Simon Tomlinson


PUBLISHED:

07:40 GMT, 22 January 2014

|
UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 22 January 2014

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MIchael Schumacher’s family have thanked fans for their loyal support as fears grew that he could remain in a ‘persistent vegetative state’ even if he wakes from his coma.

The Formula One legend has been in intensive care since his skiing accident in France nearly four weeks ago.

Jean-Marc
Orgogozo, Professor of Neurology at the University of Bordeaux, said: ‘Every day, every week in a coma the
chances decline that the situation is improving’.

One
Austrian website reported Schumacher, 45, may suffer from
Apallic Syndrome or persistent vegetative state.

Improvement: Schumacher is in a stable condition after suffering severe head injuries in a skiiing accident

Improvement: Schumacher is in a stable condition after suffering severe head injuries in a skiiing accident

But his family insisted he was a ‘fighter’ as they poured out their heartfelt thanks to fans around the world on his webpage on Tuesday.

‘We all know: he is a fighter and will not give up!’ said his family, adding: ‘We are deeply moved that there is no let up in the good wishes for Michael from around the world.

‘That gives us strength. Thank you all of you!’

But the support of his wife Corinne, 44, his two teenaged children, brother and closest friends cannot mask the fact that 23 days in an artificial coma means that he is far from anywhere near recovery.

A persistent vegetative state is one in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness.

Support act: Schumacher's wife Corinna insists her husband is a 'fighter' who will not give up

Support act: Schumacher’s wife Corinna insists her husband is a ‘fighter’ who will not give up

This means that if doctors do bring him out of his artificially induced coma he would be unable to speak, move or feed himself.

The
format.at news website said; ‘More than three weeks after the tragic
skiing accident of the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael
Schumacher, hope dwindle for a  full recovery.

‘For more than three weeks now Schumacher lies in a medically induced coma at the University Hospital in Grenoble. 

He is fed there with probes, washed daily and moved again and again to avoid a bed sores.’ 

It
goes on to speculate that the ‘severe damage’ he suffered to his brain
in a ski accident on December 29 could result in the permanent vegative
state suffered by around 10,000 of his German countrymen.

This
would mean, if and when he is brought out of the coma by his medical
team, ‘that his condition would hardly be different from the medically
induced coma’.

Get well soon! Cologne and Schalke stars hold out a banner wishing Michael Schumacher good health

Get well soon! Cologne and Schalke stars hold out a banner wishing Michael Schumacher good health

CHANCES OF RECOVERING FROM APALLIC SYNDROME BELOW 50%

Apallic Syndrome – or persistent vegetative state – occurs when a patient with severe brain damage remains in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness after waking from a coma.

Patients can breathe on their own and circulate because their brainstem remains intact, but they are largely unresponsive to stimulation

The chance of recovery from Apallic Syndrome are far below 50 per cent. 

There is no treatment, but a person can live for many years with the right medical care.

Apallic
Syndrome is always the result of a severe brain injury.  The chance of
recovery from Apallic Syndrome are far below 50 per cent.’

Schumacher’s
condition remains stable but there is a firewall of silence from his
medical team about the intense battle being waged to try to bring him
back to normality. 

Brain
injury patients are placed into artificial comas to reduce the amount
of oxygen that flows into the brain, thus making it work less and giving
it time to heal.

Such comas usually last for a maximum of two weeks, although there have been instances of patients being under longer. 

As
Schumacher enters his fourth week in such a state neurological experts
are starting to doubt whether he might ever recover sufficiently to be
brought out of his sleep.

Meanwhile, his family have paid tribute to Bundesliga sides Cologne and Schalke on the Formula One legend’s official website.

Players
from both sides held up a banner which read ‘Get Well Soon! You can do
it, Michael’ prior to their friendly on Saturday in honour of the
45-year-old German, who is a Cologne supporter
.

The
message from the seven-time champion’s family is the first in over a
fortnight and comes just days after it was confirmed that he is in a
stable condition at Grenoble Hospital.

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