Injured Correa out of coma but in leg injury "race against time"
|By Matt Beer
||Friday, September 20th 2019, 21:04 GMT
Injured Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa has been brought out of his induced coma but remains at risk of "irreversible injuries" to his right leg.
Correa sustained leg and spinal injuries in the Spa F2 crash that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert just under three weeks ago.
He developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and has been in intensive care and in an induced coma in a London hospital, with an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine providing support.
On Friday evening the 20-year-old Ecuadorian-American's family issued a statement welcoming his change of status but underlining that he was still not yet in a state where his severe leg injuries could be fully attended to.
"As of today, Juan Manuel Correa has been removed from the ECMO machine, life support and taken out of induced coma," the statement read.
"While this is great news and a major step in the right direction, he is still in a race against time.
"Juan Manuel is conscious, but not fully yet awake. Doctors report that this will take a few days due to being in induced coma for more than two weeks.
"They have also stated that Juan Manuel is fragile and still vulnerable medically speaking and that he remains in the intensive care unit. His condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.
"The medical priority for Juan Manuel now shifts from the lungs to the leg injuries that were sustained more than two weeks ago and have not been addressed since the initial emergency intervention the day of the incident.
"Doctors are in a race against time to perform a pending major surgery in order to minimise risk of irreversible injuries to his right lower extremity but can't proceed until lungs are ready to withstand a lengthy operation."
Former SMP LMP1 driver Matevos Isaakyan will stand in for Correa at the Sauber Junior F2 team for the rest of the season.
Formula 1 teams are already planning to add new safety features to their car designs for the 2020 season based on lessons learned from the Spa crash.