Michael Schumacher 'Fighting for Life' After Ski Accident

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande
Motorsport, Motorrad, FIM Endurance-WM, Training, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Donnerstag (07.08.08), Oschersleben: Der ehemalige Formel-1-Pilot Michael Schumacher steht vor dem Training in der Box. Am Samstag (09.08.08) startet Schumacher fuer das Team Holzhauer Racing Promotion beim 8-Stunden-Langstreckenrennen im Rahmen der FIM Endurance-Weltmeisterschaft in Oschersleben. (weitere Bilder unter www.pictures.ddp.de) Foto: Ronny Hartmann/ddp

Following a skiing accident Sunday morning, German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher remains in critical condition in a coma.

The 44-year-old racer was skiing with his 14-year-old son when he fell, hitting his head on a rock. Schumacher was wearing a helmet at the time and doctors credit his survival thus far to the fact that he was wearing it. He was air-lifted from the slope at Meribel, a French alpine resort, and underwent emergency brain surgery remaining in a medically-induced coma since then.

“We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher,” said Chief anesthesiologist Jean-Francois Payen, who is also in charge of Grenoble University Hospital’s intensive-care unit.

Payen said they are working “hour by hour” and that Schumacher is in a critical state of cerebral resuscitation. The doctors have lowered Schumacher’s body temperature to between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius.

SEE ALSO: Michael Schumacher Suffers Head Injury in Ski Accident

“He is in a critical situation and we can say that he is fighting for his life. We judge him to be in a very serious condition,” Payen said.

This morning during a press conference, doctors announced that they do not plan to perform a second operation.

This isn’t the first time he has endured a serious injury. In February, 2009, he suffered serious neck and spine injuries after a motorcycle accident in Spain. Schumacher also broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race in 2009.

After Sunday’s accident, the resort said Schumacher was conscious, but Payen said today that he was not in a normal state of consciousness, saying he was unable to respond to questions and his limbs appeared to moving involuntarily.

Schumacher is the most successful Formula 1 driver in the sport’s history. He retired in 2006 with seven world championships; the most of any individual driver. In total, Schumacher can claim 91 victories.

While his condition seems grim, former Formula 1 doctor Gary Hartstein has been offering commentary through his Twitter account and personal blog. He says the fact that a second operation isn’t being done is a positive sign and that the lowered body temperature is to reduce demand on the brain to optimize its metabolic state.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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