and Mercedes F1 driver Michael Schumacher has been operated on for a second time overnight.
A second press conference was held this morning and in it doctors in Grenoble reported that there was a 'slight improvement' in the German's condition, although he remains critical and there are no plans to bring him out of an artificial coma. Schumacher has been in intensive care since his skiing accident on Sunday morning, when he hit his head on a rock while skiing off piste in the French resort of Meribel.
The medical team looking after him opted for a second 'surgical intervention' at 10pm last night after a brain scan showed 'a few signs that he is relatively stable'. It was done to eliminate another hematoma – blood clot – and the procedure took two hours. Doctors then performed another brain scan this morning and like the one done the night before, it showed a 'slight improvement'.
“The surgical intervention allowed us to control the situation and this morning it is slightly better than yesterday,” reporters were told.
“It was a difficult decision to make to operate, but we decided to eliminate a hematoma. The level of inter-cranial pressure has improved. The scan does show there are other legions though.”
“The situation is better controlled than it was. We are unable to say he is out of danger, however we have gained a bit of time with regard to developments. Once again the coming hours are still critical hours when it comes to our treatment strategy,” they added.
Asked if he might be transferred to a hospital in Germany, officials said that is not something that would be wise: “For the moment to envisage a transfer would be dangerous due to his medical condition which is still very fragile,” they continued. “At the moment with the work that we are carrying out as a medical team, I would say that with the support that we have from the larger medical community, we feel it is important for him to be here.”
In summing up, doctors noted: “We are slightly, I don't want to use the word optimistic, but we are less worried than yesterday. We are still concerned of course and we are still worried. We can't tell ourselves that we have won. The whole family is well aware of the situation and very sensitive to everything that is done.
“You have to allow the medical team to work [now]. We'll have another press conference if there is some [more] news.”