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Jason Priestley's Medical Condition
Continues to Improve

By Mary Margaret Colliver

UK physicians Andrew Bernard, left, and Stephan Stapczynski discuss actor Jason Priestley's condition.

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Priestley is in UK's intensive care unit, where his condition is serious but stable.

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Aug. 12, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Jason Priestley, actor and race car driver, continues to improve at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky., following a race car accident on Aug. 11.

Priestley was involved in an accident during a practice session for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

He was transported from the raceway by UK's Air Medical Service.

UK provides the emergency services for participants and spectators at Kentucky Speedway.

When Priestley first arrived at UK Hospital, he was evaluated in the emergency department. While there, he underwent diagnostic tests including
X-rays, CT scan, angiography and endoscopy.

Priestley sustained a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations, and fractures in both feet.

"Priestley's pulse and blood pressure are normal," said Stephan Stapczynski , M.D., professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and Medical Director at the Kentucky Speedway.
"He continues to breathe on his own and he responds to commands and voluntarily moves all his extremities."

He was initially placed on a ventilator until his condition was stabilized and his evaluation was complete. The ventilator was removed as soon as he could resume breathing on his own yesterday afternoon.

It is expected he will require a few days to recover from the concussion before surgical repair of his orthopedic injuries.

Today, Priestley will be fitted with a back brace to assess the stability of his thoracic vertebra fracture. His neurological condition will continue to be closely monitored.

Priestley's family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

He is in UK's intensive care unit, where his condition is serious but stable.

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