The Monday press conference

First off, this press conference was rather more reassuring than what I expected. I’ll admit that I feared an announcement of a second operation for persistently elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), and the fact that that’s not been needed is good.

So what do we know now? We know that besides keeping Michael deeply asleep, they’ve also slightly lowered his body temperature. This is part of the strategy to optimise the brain’s metabolic state. Along with increasing the delivery of “good stuff” to the brain, reducing the temperature reduces the brain’s need for stuff. Therefore the supply:consumption relation is rendered more favorable.

We’ve’ been told that Michael has bilateral lesions. This mean the brain is wounded in both hemispheres. That shouldn’t surprise us. This was a hard hit. What kind of “lesions”? While we haven’t been told exactly, we can assume a mix of three types. First, the hematoma itself. This is a collection of blood that can be evacuated. That’s been done, and Michael will be examined and scanned regularly in order to detect the formation of any new hematomas, or re-accumulation of the original one.

Next are contusions. These are basically black-and-blue marks in the brain. They result from blunt forces, and consist of areas of swelling and blood that’s seeped out of the vessels into the tissues – just like when you hit your arm. In the brain, as elsewhere, that blood gets absorbed, and the damage heals. Usually fine, but sometimes leaving small cavities behind.

The third type of lesions are at the microscopic level. They consist of damage to the bundles of “cables” (axons) connecting groups of brain cells. This type of damage isn’t readily visible using standard imaging, but is often associated with “poor neurological outcome”. These lesions aren’t treated specifically; rather, they are managed by classic neuro intensive care principles – maximise brain happiness and avoid brain unhappiness.


Hope this helps!

68 thoughts on “The Monday press conference

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  2. Good Day “Doc” , I’m a young man living in South Africa, just turned 30 on 13th January. I’ve followed Michael Schumacher since the age of 11 years old and been his fan like for light years, his my Role Model. However, now thus far we all are sadned by this accident of his, I really would like to write a whole book on this page but I’m going to keep it short. I want to know… 1: How long will he be under induced Coma? 2: Will he be ever be the same again and where the part of his right brain is hurt ” is it part of motor function or speach skills etc” ? I really will appreciate and hail for this reply to come true, it’ll be my Birthday gift. Thanks “Doc” and Great 2014 new year wishes. Kinds Regards , The German Young Butcher in South Africa, Roeland Hain.

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  11. Thanks that is a nice post. Could I ask you how you would distinguish between a haematoma and a contusion/bruise? Is it an issue of size? Both are obviously pockets of blood.

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