Zanardi’s surgeon stresses prognosis is unclear

Jamie Woodhouse
Alex Zanardi Williams

Alex Zanardi's surgeon reveals severity of his situation.

The surgeon who operated on Alex Zanardi says he can’t give a prognosis yet on the 53-year-old, but the situation is serious.

Zanardi underwent surgery on Friday evening after an accident during the Obiettivo Tricolore event.

In an official update on Saturday morning the Santa Maria alle Scotte University Hospital where the the Paralympic and racing star is being treated said Zanardi had been “transferred to intensive care, has stable hemodynamic and metabolic parameters. He is intubated and supported by artificial ventilation while the neurological picture remains serious.”

And the surgeon who operated on him, Dr Giuseppe Olivieri, revealed to the media the severity of Zanardi’s situation.

“The condition of Alex Zanardi is serious but stable,” AP reported Dr Olivieri as saying.

“He arrived here with major facial cranial trauma, a smashed face, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead]. The numbers are good, although it remains a very serious situation.

“We won’t see what his neurological state is until he wakes up — if he wakes up. Serious condition means it’s a situation when someone could die. Improvement takes time in these cases. 

“Turns for the worse can be sudden. The operation went according to the plan. It’s the initial situation that was very serious.”

Dr Olivieri added that the next step “is to try and stabilise him over the next week or 10 days. Then if things go well, he could eventually be woken up and re-evaluated.”

He added: “As I told his wife, he’s a patient who is worth being treated. As far as a prognosis of how he’ll be tomorrow, in a week or in 15 days, I don’t know. But I’m convinced that he should be treated.”

Sabino Scolletta, the director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, confirmed that the “situation is clearly critical in terms of brain damage.”

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