News

Formula One: Bianchi brain injury severe, says family

Jules Bianchi is suffering from a serious brain injury sustained in his sickening crash at the Japanese Grand Prix, his family says, as specialists warn the chances of recovery from this kind of condition are slim.

The Formula One driver was Wednesday starting his third day in intensive care after the weekend smash, with his worried parents regularly by his bedside.

“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,” said a statement issued by the family and the hospital.

“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.”


Manager of injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi of France, Nicolas Todt (2nd R), and his parents Philippe (L) and Christine (2nd L) Bianchi and President of the FIA Medical Commission Gerard Saillant (R) spak at the Mie General Medical Centre in Yokkaichi on October 8.

The 25-year-old Bianchi was knocked unconscious in a horrific high-speed crash into a recovery vehicle during Sunday’s rain-sodden Japanese Grand Prix.

He underwent emergency brain surgery, with doctors saying he was critically ill.

A diffuse axonal injury describes trauma that is spread across the brain, rather than in one place, and is caused by the shockwave from the sudden impact of the crash travelling through the brain. This causes bruising and kills cells.

The body’s response to the injury – swelling – exacerbates the problem because it restricts blood flow to the brain, causing more damage.

Experts say recovery rates from this kind of injury, which is frequently caused by vehicle crashes, are not encouraging.


Marshalls clear the way for an ambulance after the race was stopped following the crash. Photos: Reuters, AFP

Ichiro Miyao, who heads a support group in Japan for victims of traffic accidents, said those that do recover frequently suffer permanent impairment.

He explained that because the neural networks are disrupted, “it can have severe after-effects", including spatial awareness or memory problems.

Bianchi’s smash was captured on camera by a spectator, whose film shows the stomach-churning moment his Marussia ploughs into the recovery vehicle.

Sparks fly as metal is sheared and the driver’s head appears to bounce sickeningly off the tractor-crane.

Former world champion Alain Prost on Tuesday said the removal truck should never have been there.

“The entry of this crane (onto the circuit) without the safety car is totally unacceptable. It’s a real mistake that should not be repeated,” he said. - AFP

 

jules bianchiFranceFormula 1Japan