IPS: Jason Priestley medical update 2002-08-12

LEXINGTON, Ky., Monday, Aug. 12, 2002 -- Actor-driver Jason Priestley continues to improve at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky., following a practice accident in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series on Aug. 11 at Kentucky ...

LEXINGTON, Ky., Monday, Aug. 12, 2002 -- Actor-driver Jason Priestley continues to improve at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky., following a practice accident in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series on Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway.

Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, is in UK's intensive care unit, where his condition is serious but stable.

Priestley sustained a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet.

"Priestley's pulse and blood pressure are normal," said Stephan Stapczynski, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine and medical director at Kentucky Speedway. "He continues to breathe on his own, and he responds to commands and voluntarily moves all his extremities."

It is expected he will require a few days to recover from the concussion before surgical repair of his orthopedic injuries.

Today, Priestley will be fitted with a back brace to assess the stability of his thoracic vertebra fracture. His neurological condition will continue to be closely monitored.

When Priestley first arrived at UK Hospital via UK's Air Medical Service, he was evaluated in the emergency department. While there, he underwent diagnostic tests including X-rays, CT scan, angiography and endoscopy.

Priestley initially was placed on a ventilator until his condition was stabilized and his evaluation was complete. The ventilator was removed as soon as he could resume breathing on his own Sunday afternoon.

Priestley's family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

-irl/kr-

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jason Priestley