First of all, as many of you have pointed out, we once again owe a deep and sincere thank you to Jules’ parents.
Obviously this is good news, at a few levels. Being closer to home, to friends and family, is immensely important.
Knowing that Jules is breathing on his own is also very good news. Not so much prognostically; rather because it’s one less open door to potentially life-threatening infections.
The press release also says that the “medically induced coma” has been ended. Remember, ALL patients with severe head injury are anesthetised. This is to allow them to be ventilated by a respirator, and to better control many of the patient’s parameters during the first crucial days.
During the acute phase (roughly speaking from ICU admission until the intracranial pressure/brain swelling was brought under control) if the intracranial pressure rises too high, and the usual means fail to bring it down, this anesthesia (itself a medically induced coma) is deepened significantly, as a last-ditch effort to control the pressure. This was done, as you remember, for Michael Schumacher. It was also almost certainly carried out for Jules. This deep anesthetic is usually only used for a few days up to a week or two (rarely more). Then the background “routine” anesthetic is also slowly weaned. The speed of this process depends on the patient’s circumstances and how withdrawal of sedation is tolerated. This was presumably done prior to Jules being transferred back to Nice.
But he is still unconscious.
The fact that Jules is no longer being sedated, is no longer receiving anesthetic drugs to maintain a state of PHARMACOLOGIC coma, but remains unconscious at almost two months post injury, is obviously of great concern. But his is perfectly compatible with the clinical course of a patient with severe diffuse axonal injury who was unconscious on hospital admission.
While statistically the situation is fairly dire, statistics are just that – numbers. Let’s wait, support the Bianchis in any way we can, and constantly hope things get better.
Sorry for the delay in posting this. Lots of things going on, and just could not find time to write.