Three months after his catastrophic skiing accident, Michael Schumacher remains in a coma at Grenoble University Hospital in France. The news is assuredly not good, as explained by Dr. Gary Hartstein, former medical delegate for Formula One and one of the best sources of expert (but unofficial) information on the German's status.
Schumacher's unchanged condition could force him out of the ICU, in favor of more critically injured patients.
At this point, Schumacher has spent his time in the Intensive Care Unit at GUH. However, as Hartstein explains, at some point soon, it's likely that another patient will have a higher need of the room Schumacher has been occupying, both because their injuries may be more severe, but more likely, because they have a better chance at recovering. It's simple triage, as Harstein explains.
"It's important to remember that Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are a very limited resource. Every day intensivists are asked to admit critically ill patients to units whose beds are all filled," Hartstein wrote in his blog. "The 'chronically critically ill,' patients like Michael who depend on technology (a ventilator) to stay alive, are a tremendous conundrum for ICU personnel. As time goes on it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent."
Perhaps anticipating this, multiple sources report that a long-time friend of the Schumacher family claims that Schumacher's wife, Corinna (shown above with Michael), has spent 10 million pounds ($16.6 million) on an at-home care facility for the seven-time Formula One world champion. It's reported that the family is visiting the hospital daily, making a 150-mile round trip from their home to Grenoble.
Considering both reports, it seems likely that Schumacher will be released from Grenoble in the near future. Sadly, it's just not under the circumstances we'd prefer. As Hartstein explains, though, the lack of news and updates on Schumacher's condition may be a blessing in disguise.
"I worried more than a bit about what was going to happen when and if really bad news got announced," Harstein wrote, "I've realized that perhaps the lack of status updates has given us all a chance to move on a bit, to process what's happening, and to start to... detach."
Schumacher's condition has remained unchanged since recovering from pneumonia. Schumacher was originally injured in a December 29 skiing accident that very nearly cost the German driver his life. It was announced nearly just over two months ago that Schumacher would begin the "waking up process," from the coma he's been in since the accident. So far, that process has proved unsuccessful. Of course, should we hear anything more on Schumacher's case, we'll be sure to update you.