Jules Bianchi out of artificial coma but still ‘critical’ after Japanese GP crash
Jules Bianchi is no longer in an artificial coma but remains unconscious and in a critical condition, his family have said.
The Frenchman, 25, suffered a diffuse axonal injury to his brain, which involves widespread damage, in a horrific crash in wet conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 5.
He had immediate surgery upon his arrival at the Mie General Medical Centre in Yokkaichi, but after weeks of little change in his condition, Bianchi’s family issued an update on Wednesday.
“Almost seven weeks after Jules’ accident at Suzuka Circuit, and following a challenging period of neurological intensive care, we are able to announce that Jules has made an important step,” a statement said.
“Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious. He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function.”
The statement also said that, following the improvement in his condition, Bianchi has been flown from Japan to a hospital in Nice, France.
“Jules’ neurological condition remains stable,” the statement said. “Although the situation continues to be serious, and may remain so, it was decided that Jules was sufficiently stable to be repatriated to his native France.
“We are relieved, therefore, to confirm that Jules was transferred aeromedically on Tuesday night from the Mie Prefectural General Medical Centre in Yokkaichi, Japan, to Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU), where he arrived just a short time ago.
“Jules is now in the intensive care unit of Professors Raucoules and Ichai, where his care will also be monitored by Professor Paquis, Head of Neurosurgery Service.
“We are thankful that the next phase of Jules’ treatment can continue close to home, where he can be surrounded and supported by his wider family and friends. We have nothing but praise for the outstanding care provided by the Mie Prefectural General Medical Centre since the accident.
“We owe the medical staff there an enormous debt of gratitude for everything they have done for Jules, and also for our family, during what is a very difficult time for us. In particular, we would like to extend our thanks to Doctors Kamei and Yamamichi, and also to Mr Ogura, all part of the team of personnel caring for Jules in Japan.”
Bianchi was hurt when his Marussia collided with a recovery vehicle that was removing the Sauber of Adrian Sutil, who had spun off the track and into a tyre one lap previously. The crash occurred under double yellow waved flags, in poor weather and in fading light.
Following an investigation into the cause of the crash, FIA race director Charlie Whiting concluded there was “a perfect storm” of conditions.
Although the FIA is to bring in new safety measures following the incident, Whiting further stated with regard to the incident “nothing could have been done better”.
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Published: November 20, 2014 04:00 AM