Kris Boeckmans will remain in a medically-induced coma for at least ‘the next seven days’ as a result of his Vuelta a Espana crash.
The Belgian rider was placed into the coma after being one of the riders to go down in the huge crash which marred stage eight of the season’s final Grand Tour, leaving the race in an ambulance after spending a long time on the ground seemingly unconscious.
Lotto-Soudal said the rider was conscious in the ambulance, and in a stable condition, but doctors have had to keep him in the coma after he encountered breathing difficulties when they reduced the sedative medication.
A short update by the team confirmed the lung injuries suffered in the crash – pneumothorax, laceration of the lung, bleeding of the lung and swollen pulmonary tissue – made it too difficult for the rider to breathe independently.
“He was placed in an induced coma again,” the team confirmed. “This will certainly remain the case for the next seven days.
“Nonethless, 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.
“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.”
Team doctor Servaas Bingé is keeping in close contact with the rider, attending doctors and Boeckmans’ family and team confirmed they would provide updates as when necessary.
The statement added: “The family of Kris wants to thank everybody for the many messages of support of the previous days.”
Boeckmans was the worst affected of the riders to go down in the crash, which also Tejay van Garderen suffer a broken collarbone and Daniel Martin and Nacer Bouhanni quit the race.
Jasper Stuyven went on to win the stage, but he too was forced to quit overnight having suffered a fractured scaphoid in the crash.