No further updates will be provided by the hospital treating ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi unless his condition significantly changes.

Zanardi sustained severe head injuries in an accident during a hand bike race in Italy on Friday after colliding with a vehicle on the road.

The 53-year-old Italian subsequently underwent three hours of neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery before being placed in a medically-induced coma.

Zanardi spent his fifth night in intensive care at the Santa Maria alle Scotte in Siena, with the hospital saying his condition remains “stationary”.

After discussions with his family, the hospital, which had been issuing daily updates, confirmed it will now only provide further bulletins if they are any significant changes to Zanardi’s condition.

“The athlete spent the fifth night in hospital without substantial changes in his clinical conditions, as regards the cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters, and the neurological picture remains serious,” the hospital said in its latest medical bulletin.

“Neuro-monitoring continues and is constantly evaluated by a team consisting mainly of anaesthesiologists, resuscitators and neurosurgeons, supported by a multi-disciplinary team based on different clinical needs.

"The patient is always sedated, intubated and mechanically ventilated and the prognosis remains confidential.”

This latest episode is the newest challenge for Zanardi in a career that has become a shining example of triumphing against adversity. Despite a tough three-year spell in F1, the Italian went on to claim two CART open-wheel titles. 

He also recovered from having both his legs amputated following a horrific high-speed accident during a 2001 CART race at the Lausitzring. 

Zanardi went on to rebuild his racing career with a successful stint in touring cars and sportscars using hand controls, before turning his attention to the Paralympics, where he has since become a four-time gold medal winner.

 

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