Former Formula One (F1) doctor Gary Hartstein has expressed his rather pessimistic but brutally honest look on Michael Schumacher's condition. In formerf1doc.wordpress.com, Dr. Hartstein discussed Schumacher's likelihood of survival five months to date since his skiing crash and after being put in a medically-induced coma. Dr. Hartstein reiterated that he has no first-hand information about the current condition of Schumacher and that he only relies on the published news stories as well as the epidemiologic studies conducted on patients who suffered severe brain injury. He was straightforward and honest, imagining the worst case scenario to prepare Schumacher's fans of the worst possible outcomes - either the persistence vegetative state (PVS) or death.
According to the graph that Dr. Hartstein had shown on his blog, there are three possible outcomes for the seven-time world champion - consciousness, death, and persistent vegetative state. Schumacher's family and manager has been elusive to give much information. The only information that the general public currently has on Schumacher right now is that the F1 racing champion was reportedly showing signs of being awake and conscious or more like the PVS.
Based on Dr. Hartstein's graph, the prognosis for someone who is in PVS 12 months into the accident is that there is a little chance of becoming conscious and a greater chance of dying or remaining in persistent vegetative state in the next seven months.
"After six months, only a tiny tiny fraction of patients in PVS regain consciousness," Dr. Hartstein wrote.
In essence, persistence of the vegetative state or death are the primary outcomes remaining."
Dr. Harstein added citing that "no one in persistent vegetative state at one year will ever regain consciousness."
However, Dr. Hartstein said that there is a greater chance of recovery if Schumacher is in a "minimally conscious state (MCS), which he defined as "the presence of objective, but fluctuating and inconsistently reproducible signs of either self-awareness or interaction with the environment). Still, it would take months or years for MCS patients to fully get accustomed to doing things like speaking and walking.
"I'm quite afraid (and virtually certain) we will never have any good news about Michael."
Should Schumacher's fans be prepared to hear the inevitable news?
Meanwhile, News.de reported that RTL will broadcast a 30-minute documentary titled "Michael Schumacher's Heaviest Battle" on June 8. It will be aired following the Canadian Grand Prix. The Web site wrote that the said documentary will be giving the viewers an "insight" of Schumacher's coma condition.