Francesco Bertolotti, Soccer - Midfielder for Modena (Italy)
A head scan, such as from an MRI, can show doctors where fluid
is building up in the brain by using magnetism and a computer to create images
of the structures inside the head. Doctors can also use an electroencephalogram
(EEG) to measure the electrical activity of the brain.
If he survives this initial stage of his injury but remains in
a coma, doctors will assess Bertolotti's brain injury by the responsiveness of
different parts of his body. His ability to respond will give doctors an idea
of his chances to recover.
Officials were trying to prevent further altercations between these players
by ejecting Ferrigno, but they fought on their own, presumably on a surface
much harder than a soccer field. Bertolotti may have been unconscious after
being punched, so he would not have been able to protect his head as he
Bertolotti still faces hurdles to survive. Doctors have to watch his
circulation and keep the swelling down inside his head, while they are also
mindful of possible complications like infection and blood clots. Then, it will
take physical therapy and rehab to try to restore any function he has lost.
The next question is whether Bertolotti will regain consciousness. People
can spend years in a coma, called a "persistent vegetative state."
There are many levels of this state of unconsciousness, and the patient's state
of awareness and ability to respond to people around him varies greatly. If he
does awaken, his therapists can give him progressive treatments that can,
depending on the extent of the brain injury he suffered, potentially