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Schumacher in coma, "critical" after France ski accident

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Schumacher in coma, "critical" after France ski accident



Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One champion, is in a coma and remains in a "critical" condition after striking his head in a ski accident in the French Alps on Sunday, the hospital treating him said.



LYON: Michael Schumacher, the retired seven-time Formula One champion, is in a coma and remains in a "critical" condition after striking his head in a ski accident in the French Alps on Sunday, the hospital treating him said.

The 44-year-old German was "suffering a serious brain trauma with coma on his arrival, which required an immediate neurosurgical operation", the hospital in the southeast French city of Grenoble said in a brief statement.

"He remains in a critical condition."

Schumacher had been skiing off-piste in the upmarket Meribel resort, where he reportedly has a property, when he fell and hit his head on a rock.

He was airlifted to a local hospital, then, an hour later, to the better-equipped Grenoble facility. A specialist neurosurgeon from Paris was rushed in to oversee his treatment.

The director of the Meribel resort, Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, had said just after the accident that Schumacher had been wearing a helmet and was "conscious but a little agitated", suggesting he had not received life-threatening injuries.

But when Schumacher then fell into coma, doctors realised the damage was worse than initially feared.

Two mountain police officers who gave first aid to Schumacher said he was suffering "severe cranial trauma" when they got to him and a helicopter was brought in to evacuate him within 10 minutes.

A renowned Paris neurosurgeon, doctor Gerard Saillant, arrived at the Grenoble hospital in a police car to help take charge of the famous patient.

The hospital statement was signed by the facility's neurosurgeon, the professor in charge of its anaesthesia/revival unit, and the hospital's deputy director. It was issued jointly with the ex-racer's press team in Germany.

The next update on Schumacher's condition would be given at 1000 GMT on Monday, a hospital spokesman said. Police were stationed to guard the hospital's entrances.

Schumacher, who lives with his family in Switzerland, was on a private stay in Meribel, according to his spokeswoman. He was reportedly skiing with his 14-year-old son at the time of the accident.

He is to have his 45th birthday next Friday.

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