Massa update

Ferrari has issued a new statement on Felipe Massa’s condition this morning. It says that “after undergoing an operation yesterday afternoon, Felipe’s condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night. He will be given another CT scan today, which will provide more precise information.”

From what we can gather independently of Ferrari, Massa has suffered from significant cerebral contusions, which in effect means bruising of the brain tissue. The danger of this is that there will be pressure within the skull, which can be very damaging and dangerous. This is presumably the reason that the medical staff at the hospital used the description “life-threatening” that led to a media frenzy in the course of the night. There is no doubt that the injuries are still dangerous and will be for some days until the brain returns to normal at which point it will be possible to begin to ascertain whether any permanent damage has been done. It is very hard to predict such things. In the interim the doctors are going to keep Massa in intensive care with constant monitoring the pressure within the brain. There is always a danger of blood clots in such circumstances and so traditionally the patient is given drugs to thin the blood. As previously mentioned it is quite normal for doctors to leave the patient in an induced coma and on a respirator in order to artificially hyperventilate him. This reduces the carbon dioxide in the blood and helps the brain to reduce in size.

In extreme cases the swelling can be relieved with an operation.

12 thoughts on “Massa update

  1. Joe, your reporting on Felipe’s unfortunate accident has to be the most measured and professional I have seen on the entire web. Thank you for finding the right balance between the seriousness and sensationalism of the accident. With injuries such as those sustained by Felipe it is really the first 48 hours that are critical. On the positive side we can only hope the reports of stable become recovering and we see Felipe back on the track. For Felipe, his family, friends and the Ferrari team he is is in our thoughts.

  2. Get well soon, Felipe!

    Since Masse seems to be out of imminent danger, the thing I fear the most now is that we will find out that Brawn, having, as someone has said, the most expensive car with the lowest operating budget, overused some parts of their car in order to save money.

    What a season this is: Honda leaves, Brawn wins, diffusor row, McLaren lies, the Mosley wars, Bernie talks about history, what will be next….

  3. I agree with Rich, very serious report from Joe.

    Let’s pray for Felipe recovery. 2009 wasn’t his season, but I’m sure Felipe will come back with winning ways for 2010 !!!!

  4. Thanks for keeping us updated Joe, thinking of him.

    My little brother recovered from a brain injury a couple of years ago. They put you in a coma and basically put you on life support as a standard procedure. The thinking is not to strain the brain unnecessarily when a machine can keep you going instead.

    My bro didn’t take such a hard hit but it was on the back of his head and he wasn’t wearing one of those crash helmets. He was out for about a month but is fine now. Sure Felipe will pull through.

  5. Carsten,
    Surely you’re not suggesting that we should start getting into a blame game regarding a freak accident of a piece of broken equipment hitting another car in an environment full of such hazards?

    It’s nearly as bad as those ‘personal injury specialist’ solicitors’ adverts that suggest that, no matter how trivial your accident, _someone_ in ‘authority’ is to blame, and you deserve thousands of pounds of compensation for not watching where you’re going walking down the street.

    Shit happens! Doubly so on a race-track.

  6. Joe, very good and also educational reporting indeed. Thank you for doing this job of researching and explaining. What a relief from the tabloid style reporting your writing is.

  7. Khhmm, I guess my last sentence was somewhat ill formulated. Sorry, I didn’t mean your writing is tabloid style but that it is a real relief from that type of journalism.

  8. top blog with top reporting, this is a 100 prc recommendable blog for all f1 fans.

    great work.

  9. As previously mentioned Joe, great work on the updating Massa’s status. Thank you for your contributions. As a huge GP fan it great to hear Felipe is doing well. In other exciting news, The Schu will be filling his drivers seat for the rest of the season/in his absence which gives great hope to ferrari and Massa fans for an excellent year ahead.

    Once again great work and thanks

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