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SEPTEMBER 17, 2001

Zanardi still in critical condition

ALEX ZANARDI is still in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB) in Marzahn, a suburb of Berlin. One of the most modern hospitals in Europe it specializes in accident and emergency surgery Zanardi is being treated by Professor Walter Schaffartzik, the head of the hospital's trauma unit.

Zanardi underwent a three hour operation on Saturday evening to deal with his leg injuries. Both legs were amputated above the knee. He also suffered small fractures to the pelvis but a brain scan revealed that he had suffered severe concussion but was otherwise responding normally.

According to Schaffartzik, Zanardi is still in danger because of potential complications which can arise with such severe injuries but he is in a stable if critical condition. The biggest problem was the loss of blood he suffered in the accident which required a series of blood transfusions to keep him alive as he was rushed from the Lausitzring to Berlin by helicopter.

"His condition has not really changed and is still life-threatening," Professor Schaffartzik told reporters on Monday.