Posted by Adam
MICHAEL Schumacher‘s doctors have been accused of making “st” in the Formula One star’s car.
Gary Hartstein, F1 sport’s chief doctor between 2005 and 2012, says he had heard from “usually impeccable sources” to say that these lapses “could, and almost certainly did, worsen the outcome in Michael’s case.”
Hartstein believes that the “terribly dismal prognosis” over the long-term recovery prospects of Schumacher, 45, have made his carers at the University Hospital in Grenoble, France, ease-off pressuring his family to transfer their loved one to a specialized clinic for long-term coma patients better equipped to deal with people in persistent comas.
“It is possible that the staff at Grenoble feel duty-bound to NOT place any pressure on the family to transfer out, despite the terribly dismal prognosis . . . because of the clear (but unquantifiable) contribution of medical misjudgement to that prognosis,” Hartstein wrote on his latest medical blog as Schumacher enters his 87th day in a coma with no signs at all of coming around from it.
“As time goes on it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent.
“I always knew Michael was adored. I spent years at circuits drenched in red by the Ferrari caps, flags, and shirts, and all of that for Michael. I’m still staggered by the depth and persistence of his fans’ love for him.
“And whereas I worried more than a bit about what was going to happen when and if really bad news got announced, 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.
“And I think this is probably one of the unexpected ‘benefits’ to the media strategy chosen by Michael’s family. Somehow, I get the feeling that people are going to be ok, no matter what happens, because they’ve now had the time to process this all. I just regret that to get here, you’ve all had to work through feeling abandoned. That will go away too. I hope.
“So why is he still in Grenoble? I’m basing myself on the notion that Michael is still in the Intensive Care Unit, and is still being ventilated. First of all, it clearly shows that his entourage is totally confident with the quality of care Michael is receiving.
‘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.
“Therefore, I think it is inevitable that should the status quo continue, the ICU staff may well, at some point in the not-distant future, decide that the patient they’ve just been asked to admit has a higher need for that bed than Michael, given his clinical situation and prognosis. This then could be a reason to organise a transfer – to a private clinic, or to an ICU-like environment that his entourage could build at his home.
As mentioned previously, the longer one remains in a vegetative state, the less the likelihood of emerging, and the higher the chances of severe ramifications if the patient does in fact emerge. Most definitions consider the vegetative state to be permanent one year after the injury.
“Patients who are in a persistent/permanent vegetative state have lifespans that are measured in months to a few years. This depends on baseline function (extraordinary in the case of Michael, of course), the quality of nursing care, and other imponderables.
‘They usually die of respiratory or urinary infections. Longer survivals have been described, but are exceptional.’
Tags: michael schumacher