Lotto-Soudal rider who crashed at Vuelta found to have trouble breathing unaided when doctors reduced sedation

Kris Boeckmans will spend another week in an induced coma, his Lotto-Soudal team have confirmed.

As we reported yesterday, it had been hoped that Boeckmans, involved in a serious crash during Saturday’s Stage 8 of the Vuelta, might be brought out of the coma early this week after a CT scan showed no signs of brain damage.

– Lotto-Soudal's Kris Boeckmans to be brought out of induced coma

But in a statement released yesterday evening, the 28-year-old Belgian’s team said that as his sedation was being reduced, it became clear he was having trouble breathing unaided.

The statement read:

By reducing the sedative medication the doctors tried to take Kris Boeckmans out of the induced coma. 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, this will certainly remain the case for the next seven days.

Nonetheless, 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.

The family of Kris wants to thank everybody for the many messages of support of the previous days.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.