YOKKAICHI, Japan: French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital in Japan after suffering a traumatic brain injury, a joint statement by his family and the hospital said on Tuesday.
“Jules remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi. He has suffered a diffuse axonal injury and is in a critical but stable condition,” the statement, distributed by his Marussia team, read.
“The medical professionals at the hospital are providing the very best treatment and care and we are grateful for everything they have done for Jules since his accident.”
The 25-year-old Bianchi sustained the injury in an horrific high-speed crash into a recovery vehicle which came onto the side of the track near the end of Sunday’s rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix.
He was taken unconscious by ambulance to the nearest hospital and immediately underwent emergency brain surgery with doctors saying he was critically ill.
A diffuse axonal injury occurs in 50% of serious head injuries.
It stems from the shockwave that is felt on impact and flows from the top of the brain to the bottom of it provoking the bruising, while the violent forward motion of the driver’s head as the car moves forward and then being brutally brought to a halt jerking the head back also exacerbates the injury.
The shearing action disrupts the brain’s architecture and kills brain cells. In response to the injury, the brain swells and this increasing pressure can restrict blood flow, causing further brain damage
Recovery rates for such injuries are not encouraging.
Bianchi’s parents Philippe and Christine flew to Japan to be at his bedside and they were joined on Tuesday by celebrated French surgeon Gérard Saillant, who treated Michael Schumacher after his near-fatal skiing accident last December.