Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is in the process of fighting off a bout of pneumonia during the week of his awakening from an induced coma, at Grenoble University Hospital in France.
Bild reports that doctors treated the pneumonia with a course of strong antibiotics, but it is not known if the awakening process has been paused during the episode.
Professor Heinz Peter Moecke, Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Asklepios Clinic in Hamburg, explained to Bild: “One of the reasons he may have contracted pneumonia is because the endotracheal tube does not allow a patient to cough and rid the throat of secretions.”
“A healthy person coughs or swallows several times per minute, usually without noticing, which in turn protects the lungs from infection.”
“Pneumonia is generally a serious and dangerous disease [for a patient in a coma] because the body is supplied with less oxygen and overall is very weak.”
“The drug [to counter pneumonia] is administered over a period of seven to ten days. If successful the results can be observed after three to four days in the form of a marked improvement, whereupon the patient is out of danger. However there are also bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics, which then can extend the period of danger,” added Professor Moecke.
Sabine Kehm , Schumacher’s spokesperson, has on several occasions denounced unofficial reports regarding the condition of the seven time F1 World Champion, stating “we do not comment on speculation.”
Schumacher critically injured himself after falling and banging his head on rock while skiing during a family holiday in the French Alps late last year. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.