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Schumacher critical, outlook uncertain after fall

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 30, 2013 at 7:20 a.m.

GRENOBLE, France — Doctors treating Michael Schumacher refused Monday to predict an outcome for the seven-time Formula One champion, saying they were taking his critical head injury "hour by hour" after a skiing accident.

Chief anesthesiologist Jean-Francois Payen told reporters that Schumacher is still in a medically induced coma and doctors were focusing only on his current condition.

"We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher," Payen said, who is also in charge of the intensive care unit.

"He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation," he added. "We are working hour by hour."

Schumacher, the most successful driver in Formula One history, arrived at the Grenoble University Hospital Center a day earlier already in a coma and immediately underwent brain surgery.

The German driver was skiing with his son Sunday morning in the French Alpine resort of Meribel when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock. He was wearing a helmet, but doctors said it was not enough to prevent a serious brain injury.

"Someone who had suffered this accident without a helmet would not have made it this far," Payen said.

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