Alex Zanardi expected to remain in induced coma until at least next week after handbike crash
Last Updated: 23/06/20 2:07pm
Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi is expected to remain in an induced coma until at least next week following an accident during a handbike relay, according to the neurosurgeon who operated on him.
The four-time Paralympic hand-cycling gold medallist was severely injured in a crash with a lorry in his native Italy on Friday, before he later underwent surgery at Siena's Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital.
Zanardi, 53, had been competing in the Obiettivo Tricolore road race for Italian Paralympic athletes.
"Zanardi is in stable condition and the parameters are stable too," professor Giuseppe Oliveri told Sky in Italy. "This is what we can expect at best at the moment.
"It will take a long time. He will remain sedated for another 10-15 days. At present, his response is good.
"We do not know to which extent his coma is due to medications and to his medical conditions.
"As I have said many times in the last few days, there is a primary damage that takes place when the trauma happens, and a secondary damage that are the consequences of this trauma.
"These are the metabolic consequences, which are remarkable. These consequences can be extended for 10-15 days, they are corrected by medications and by sedation. They are fundamental.
"We can't think of interrupting these important therapies because we are curious to know which is the current physical state."
Zanardi had both legs amputated after crashing in the American Memorial 500 Cart race at Lausitz, Germany, in September 2001.
He competed in 41 Grands Prix in the 1990s and raced for four teams - Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams.