Schumacher’s brain injury: What is a “lucid interval”?

By January 2, 2014Surgery

Yesterday, the news broke of Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident in the French Alps, whereby he sustained serious brain injuries and underwent emergency surgery 아두이노 프로그램 다운로드. Doctors were hesitant to comment on his prognosis, although they confirmed he was in a critical condition. As of this morning, Schumacher remains in a coma, and doctors have reported that he is fighting for his life and that his condition is “touch and go”. At this stage they are unable to say what the full extent of his injuries are.

Doctors have placed Schumacher in an artificial coma, to limit the impact of his injuries on the brain. When a person is unconscious, the brain is also “switched off” to sounds, light and other triggers which would otherwise cause the brain to use up oxygen to process these triggers. Initially, Schumacher’s condition was considered non-life-threatening. Indeed, immediately after the accident he was only unconscious for a few minutes, before waking up and talking to paramedics and doctors. By the time he was airlifted to hospital, his condition had deteriorated and he fell into a coma.

What Schumacher experienced between falling and hitting his head, and falling into a coma, is a “lucid interval”, which is a temporary improvement in a patient’s condition after a traumatic brain injury, after which their condition deteriorates rapidly.

We spoke to Hello Doctor’s Russell Thomson to find out more about lucid intervals, and here’s what he had to say: “Lucid intervals are indicative of a major brain trauma, such as an epidural hematoma. It’s estimated that up to 50% of people who are diagnosed with an epidural hematoma experience a lucid interval, which can last for several minutes or hours after the initial concussion or trauma. A person lapses unconscious again, or into a coma, when bleeding on the brain causes the hematoma to expand past the extent to which the body can handle.”

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