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by Shane Stokes
September 1, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
One day after saying that doctors would aim to bring Kris Boeckmans out of the induced coma he was placed in following his severe crash in the Vuelta a España, the Lotto-Soudal team has said that this course of action has had to be postponed.
“The lung injuries (pneumothorax, laceration of the lung, bleeding of the lung and swollen pulmonary tissue) made it too difficult for Kris to sufficiently breathe independently, so he was placed in an induced coma again,” stated the team. “This will certainly remain the case for the next seven days.”
The Belgian fell heavily with just over 50 kilometres to go on Saturday’s eighth stage. He was one of many who hit the deck, but was the most seriously affected. His teammate Tosh Van der Sande said that he was drinking when he hit a hole in the road, being thrown to the ground.
Initially appearing to be motionless, he was treated at the scene by doctors and then taken to hospital. His team His team stated at that point that he was conscious and stable, but later revealed the full extent of his injuries. He had severe facial trauma with several fractures, concussion, three broken ribs and bleeding in his lung.
As a result he was placed into an induced coma. This was a temporary measure but as the latest update shows, he will be kept under sedation for longer than expected.
While the news is disappointing, the team said that the situation is stable. “These injuries are the consequence of the impact on the chest. At the moment the swollen pulmonary tissue prevents an intake of oxygen via the alveoli,” it said.
“This swelling has to disappear slowly in a natural way. The bleeding in the lungs is kept under control by a drain which was already introduced in the thorax earlier.”
It requested that the media abstain from relaying information from sources other than the team, saying that all important updates will be communicated in the days ahead.