x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Schoolgirl still in coma two weeks after attack

Lujain Hussein remains in intensive care unit at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City following schoolyard attack.

Lujain Hussein remains in a coma in the intensive care unit at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City more than two weeks after a schoolyard attack left her with a brain haemorrhage.

Doctors have had to increase the level of sedation for the 11-year-old, who suffered the injuries in a playground altercation with her fellow pupils on April 19.

A few days ago, doctors had reduced the amount of sedation.

"She is still in a medical coma since her operation," her brother Mahran Hussein said. "They had reduced the sedation but then decided to increase it again because she began to start moving."

He said doctors had been concerned that Lujain might inadvertently remove one of her tubes.

"She has tubes going into her brain and the aim is to drain the excess blood from her head.

"Once that is done they said they will be able to remove the vacuum and drainer and reduce the sedation," he said.

The Iranian family have not been told how long it will be before doctors can bring Lujain out of the coma but are expecting her to remain in intensive care for at least another two weeks.

"It's different for every person but we think it will be between a week and two weeks before we see any changes," Mr Hussein said.

He said family and friends had been at Lujain's bedside since she was admitted to hospital.

"We have a family friend who is a neurologist and he has said Lujain has a good chance of recovery because she is young.

"That has given us hope that she will get better," he said.

Scans of Lujain's brain revealed that before the assault, she already had an underlying congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation or AVM and an aneurysm, an enlarged artery caused by a weakened blood vessel. Doctors believe the schoolyard scuffle might have caused her brain to bleed.

nhanif@thenational.ae