Dutch Prince Caught in Avalanche May Not Wake Up

Doctors say Johan Friso was in cardiac arrest for 50 minutes
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2012 12:00 PM CST
A photo taken on May 27, 2011, shows Dutch Princess Mabel and Prince Friso arriving at the concert building in Amsterdam   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Sad news for the Netherlands: Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who got snowed under by an avalanche while skiing in the Austrian Alps last Friday, may never wake from his coma. At a press conference today, his doctor explained that Queen Beatrix's middle son suffered severe brain damage after being deprived of oxygen while buried under the snow—a period of time Reuters now reports was 25 minutes. "The lack of oxygen led to a cardiac arrest, which lasted for 50 minutes. During this entire period the patient had to be resuscitated. This is an exceptionally long period, you can say too long a period," said the doctor, who adds that should the 43-year-old wake, "rehabilitation will take months, possibly years." (Read more Netherlands stories.)

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