Zanardi’s prognosis is not yet clear, says his surgeon
The surgeon who operated on Alex Zanardi on Friday evening has stressed how serious the situation is – and declared that it’s not yet clear what the prognosis is for the 53-year-old Italian.
After being transferred to hospital following his handbike accident during a race event in Italy on Friday, Zanardi had three hours of neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery (related to the face).
An official bulletin issued on Saturday morning said that after the surgery 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.”
Dr Giuseppe Olivieri, the head of neurosurgery at Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital, spoke to media later on Saturday.
“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.”
Regarding the next steps Dr Olivieri said: “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.
“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, added: “The situation is clearly critical in terms of brain damage.”
Update: On Sunday morning, the hospital issued a new statement regarding Zanardi's condition: "Regarding the clinical conditions of the athlete Alex Zanardi, hospitalised at the polyclinic Santa Maria alle Scotte in Siena since June 19 following a road accident, the Health Department informs that the patient spent the night in conditions of cardio-respiratory and metabolic stability.
"Organ functions are adequate. He is always sedated, intubated and mechanically ventilated. The ongoing neuromonitoring has shown some stability but this figure must be taken with caution because the neurological picture remains serious.
"The current conditions of general stability still do not allow to exclude the possibility of adverse events and, therefore, the patient remains in a reserved prognosis."
Mercedes hobbled after rapid Bathurst qualifying
Mercedes hobbled after rapid Bathurst qualifying Mercedes hobbled after rapid Bathurst qualifying
Lapierre to skip 2023 WEC season as Alpine steps down to LMP2
Lapierre to skip 2023 WEC season as Alpine steps down to LMP2 Lapierre to skip 2023 WEC season as Alpine steps down to LMP2
Ford: F1 return wasn’t possible without changes to engine rules
Ford: F1 return wasn’t possible without changes to engine rules Ford: F1 return wasn’t possible without changes to engine rules
How SUPER GT's 2023 GT300 field is shaping up
How SUPER GT's 2023 GT300 field is shaping up How SUPER GT's 2023 GT300 field is shaping up
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right
The stand-ins who got it right The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return
Lola’s return isn't mere romanticism Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return
Rating the best drivers of the century so far
Rating best drivers of the century Rating the best drivers of the century so far
The best motorsport moments of 2021
Best motorsport moments of 2021 The best motorsport moments of 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers
The racing comeback artists The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under
Career revival for Schumacher rival The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth
Can Richards become new FIA chief? Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing
What football can learn from racing The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing
Subscribe and access Motorsport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.