Doctors: Michael Schumacher remains in critical condition after skiing accident

Seven-times World Champion being kept in an induced coma; Doctors unable to "express themselves" on future prognosis but currently do not believe a second operation is necessary; No further updates expected on Monday

By Sky Sports Online.   Last Updated: 31/12/13 10:40am

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Doctors in Grenoble treating Michael Schumacher have reported that the former F1 World Champion remains in a critical condition after his skiing accident.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday morning, the team of three surgeons said they are working "hour-by-hour" to save the life of the seven-times World Champion.

A hospital spokesman later said there would be no further updates on his condition on Monday. The next update is expected around Tuesday lunchtime, UK time.

The 44-year-old was airlifted to University Hospital after the accident, which occurred in the Alpine resort of Meribel on Sunday morning. Schumacher fell heavily and suffered an impact to the right-hand side of his head after he and a group of skiers - which included his 14-year-old son - decided to tackle an unmarked run.

Although Schumacher was wearing a helmet and conscious in the immediate aftermath of the accident, his condition subsequently deteriorated. Arriving at the hospital in a coma, he soon underwent surgery with officials confirming he had suffered a "severe brain trauma".

The surgeons said that Schumacher has had blood clots on his brain removed but added that a number of lesions have also been discovered.

"On his arrival we examined him clinically and realised he was in a serious conditions, in a coma with in fact cranial pressure," Professor Stephan Chabardes said.

"The brain scan showed a number of pieces of information: some inter-cranial haematoma, but also some cerebral contusions and edema.

"We operated urgently to try and eliminate the haematoma and after the operation, we saw that we were able to eliminate these haematoma. But also, sadly, the appearance of various bilateral lesions, so he was taken to intensive care to try to help him."

Schumacher is currently being kept in an artificial coma while the medical team try to reduce the inter-cranial pressure. Professor Jean-Francois Payen said he "is in a critical situation" and "fighting for his life".

"My thoughts are with Michael Schumacher at this tough time.. Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this."
Jenson Button on Twitter

However, reports that he had undergone a second operation overnight proved wide of the mark. It was confirmed that Schumacher had been operated on only the once and that a second operation is seen as unnecessary at this stage.

His condition was described as "particularly serious" with the doctors adding that it was "far too early to say anything as far as prognosis is concerned".

"For the moment, we are not able to express ourselves with regard to Michael Schumacher's future," Professor Payen added.

"We're working all together, day and night, at his bedside. But it's far too early to be able to say anything as far as prognosis is concerned.

"We're currently not talking about after-effects; we're talking about treatment and we're working hour by hour."

"Get well soon Michael! Hope to hear some positive news very soon!"
Fernando Alonso on Twitter

Professor Payen added, however, that Schumacher's decision to wear a crash helmet had undoubtedly saved his life.

"His helmet did protect him to a certain extent, of course. Somebody who would have had this kind of accident without a helmet certainly wouldn't have got to here," he added.

Among the doctors in attendance is Gerard Saillant, a leading brain surgeon from Paris and friend of the seven-times World Champion. It was Saillant who operated on Schumacher after he suffered a broken leg in the 1999 British GP.

"It's just as a friend that I'm here, so I can't answer any questions that are not in my domain," he said.

"We're all concerned by his state and it's been extremely well explained, the doctors can't tell you anymore.

"It's not that they don't want to or are not able to. They are working hour-by-hour and it's at that level that one can make decisions."

FIA President Jean Todt and former Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn, who both worked alongside Schumacher during his record-breaking run of success at Ferrari a decade ago, have also visited the hospital.

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