Prince Friso in Coma following Avalanche Last Friday
UPDATE 24/02/12 at noon local time: The RVD released the full statement from the head of the team treating Prince Friso.
Prince Friso was brought to Innsbruck university hospital by rescue helicopter at about 14:00 on 17 February, after being buried by an avalanche in Lech. He was covered for approximately 25 minutes. At the hospital, after receiving initial treatment in the reanimation unit, he was taken straight to the intensive care trauma unit. This unit specialises in treating the most seriously injured avalanche patients with the utmost medical and technical expertise. The unit’s head is Dr Wolfgang Koller.
Our unit was notified of the patient’s imminent arrival and we were able to prepare everything in advance. Prince Friso was brought to the hospital under reanimation conditions. Due to the length of time he was covered under the snow, his brain had been deprived of oxygen. The result was cardiac arrest, which lasted approximately 50 minutes. The patient had to be reanimated during this entire period. Fifty minutes is a very long time. One could say, too long. We hoped that the patient’s mild hypothermic state had sufficiently protected the brain against excessive damage. Unfortunately, our hope was in vain. Since last Friday, a team of specialists has been fighting to save Prince Friso’s life. Yesterday, a first MRI-scan was possible, without bringing the patient into danger. Since this examination and the latest neurological tests yesterday evening it is clear that the oxygen deprivation has caused extensive damage to the patient’s brain. At present it is not certain whether he will ever regain consciousness. In any event, rehabilitation will take months, if not years. Prince Friso’s family will now look for an appropriate rehabilitation facility.
UPDATE 24/02/12 at 07:15: A press conference with the head of trauma and intensive care at the hospital in Innsbruck has just taken place. The doctors gave some details on the Prince’s condition, and their prognosis:
- The Prince was under the snow for 25 minutes.
- CPR was performed on the Prince for 50 minutes to resuscitate him.
- A MRI was performed yesterday on the Prince, which indicated that the Prince had suffered severe brain damage from a lack of oxygen.
- The doctors cannot guarantee that the Prince will awaken from his coma, or give a timeframe as to when this could be expected. If he does wake up, his rehabilitation will take months or years.
- The Prince’s immediate family are currently looking in to suitable clinics for him.
UPDATE 24/02/12 at 06:40: There will be a press conference in Innsbruck at 12:00 local time today, where doctors will discuss the diagnosis and prognosis of Prince Friso.
UPDATE 22/02/12 at 22:06: The RVD again today issued another bulletin regarding Prince Friso’s health – he remains in a stable but critical condition, and he is not yet out of danger. The statement concluded with, “The doctors attending the Prince will issue a statement giving a prognosis as soon as they are able. That is not yet the case.”
Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel visited the Prince at the hospital again this morning, and Mabel was there with Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima tonight. Last night Mabel was joined by Prince Constantijn and the man who was with Prince Friso at the time of the accident, family friend Florian Moosbrugger.
UPDATE 21/02/12 at 04:13: Hospital visits were once again on the agenda for the Royal Family yesterday. Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel visited Prince Friso, accompanied by Countess Zaria and Mabel’s mother, Flos Wisse-Smit. The group entered the hospital via an underground tunnel to avoid the media, most likely to sheild Countess Zaria. Princess Mabel was seen leaving the hospital in the evening with her youngest sister, Eveline Wisse-Smit.
UPDATE 20/02/12 at 06:46: Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel have again headed over to Innsbruck to be with Prince Friso this morning. This time, they left via the hotel’s back entrance to avoid the media.
UPDATE 19/02/12 at 22:56: Princess Mabel and Prince Willem-Alexander spent some time last night, Austrian time, with Prince Friso at the hospital in Innsbruck.
No further updates have been given by the RVD. A thank-you message from the Dutch Royal Family was published on their website at 19:13, Dutch time:
“The Royal Family is very grateful and deeply touched by all expressions of support and sympathy after the ski accident of His Royal Highness Prince Friso. It is a great support for them during this difficult time.”
UPDATE 19/02/12 at 09:48: A bulletin from the RVD has said that there has been no change in Prince Friso’s condition – he is still in a critical, but stable, condition. They do not expect further information or diagnosis until the end of the week.
Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel are on their way back to Lech.
UPDATE 19/02/12 at 07:46: Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel have begun their morning with a trip east to Innsbruck, to be by Prince Friso’s bedside. They arrived at the hospital around half an hour ago. The rest of the family is still in Lech, keeping the children busy with ski school.
A bulletin is expected later today, local time, providing an update on the Prince’s condition.
UPDATE 18/02/12 at 21:53: The latest RVD update, from 15:00 local time, states that there has been no change in Prince Friso’s condition. Princess Mabel returned to the hospital in the late afternoon, accompanied by Prince Constantijn and her sister, Nicoline Wisse-Smit. It is believed that the Princess’s mother has also arrived in Austria.
UPDATE 18/02/12 at 07:59: Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel have left the hospital in Innsbruck and are heading back to Lech. The RVD said that the medical staff has requested limitations on the number of visitors to the Prince. Reports state that Prince Willem-Alexander and Prince Constantijn are still at the hospital.
A press conference will take place at 16:00, local time, with the leader of the rescue operation, Mr Markus Amann.
Contradictory reports are being published by the Dutch media, citing the Innsbruck hospital and another journalist as sources, relating to the Prince’s injuries – we will wait for confirmation from the RVD regarding Prince Friso’s injuries and condition, likely to be within the next few days.
UPDATE 18/02/12 at 03:07: Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel have arrived at the hospital in Innsbruck to be with Prince Friso this morning (February 18th, central European time). Other members of the family are expected to arrive shortly as well.
In a brief statement to the press earlier this morning from Lech, the Prince of Orange said that the family did not have any updates on the Prince’s condition, and that while the family appreciates all the attention from the media and public, they wish to be left alone during this initial period.
17/02/12 at 22:36: Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau is currently in a critical but stable condition in an Innsbruck hospital following an avalanche in the ski resort of Lech am Arlberg earlier today, local time.
The prince was skiing with a friend when freshly fallen snow gave way and caused an avalanche. Prince Friso, second son of Queen Beatrix, was buried underneath the snow for approximately fifteen minutes while rescue workers attempted to free him. He was flown to a hospital in nearby Innsbruck, during which he had to be resuscitated.
Dutch media reports that Prince Friso suffered a fractured skull and is in a coma, however nothing has been confirmed by the Dutch Royal Court apart from the Prince being in a critical but stable condition, with further diagnosis expected in several days time.
Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel, wife of the Prince, have been by his bedside. Brothers Prince Willem-Alexander and Prince Constantijn flew into the area with their families in the evening.
Click here to read updates on the Prince’s condition.Filed under The Netherlands
Tagged Austria, Health, Hospital, Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau.