Kim Kirchen will remain in an induced coma for another 48 hours, team Katusha has announced. His family, including his pregnant wife, is now with him in the Zürich University Hospital.
Kirchen collapsed in his Tour de Suisse hotel Friday night with a suspected heart attack. Few details over his condition are known at this time.
Dr. Charles Delagardelle, a cardiologist at the Eicher Clinic in Luxembourg where Kirchen has been medically followed for 15 years, excluded an inflammation of the heart muscle. Delagardelle has been in close contact with the Zürich clinic where Kirchen is being treated. "In a lot of these cases, you never find out the reason [for the cardiac arrest - ed.]," he told the Luxemburger Tageblatt.
"I can't imagine an inflammation of the heart muscle in his case. Kim was absolutely healthy." But at the time of Kirchen's collapse, his heart did not perform normally. "We speak of cardiac output. Normally it is 60 percent, but with Kim it was only 10 to 15 percent," Delagardelle added.
According to the team, doctors have said that Kirchen's medical condition is "a little bit improved”, but that they have extended the induced coma. The medical staff has also started increasing his body temperature, which they had reduced to help recovery.
Kirchen's father was in Switzerland following his son in the Tour de Suisse. His mother, in-laws and wife arrived over the weekend. Kirchen's wife Caroline is due to give birth to twin boys later this week.
The entire Katusha team visited Kirchen in hospital following the time trial which closed the Tour de Suisse on Sunday.
Tour de Suisse winner and fellow Luxembourger Fränk Schleck dedicated his victory to his landsman. “My whole family likes him and our thoughts are with him. The last hours were not easy for Andy and me,” he told Wort.lu. “After we heard the news about him being taken to hospital, it was difficult to fully concentrate on the sport.”