Update: Otto Warmbier’s Medical Team Describes His Current Condition

Otto Warmbier has extensive loss of brain tissue, no obvious signs of trauma, doctors say

CINCINNATI — Otto Warmbier, who was medically evacuated from a 17-month detention in North Korea this week, has extensive loss of brain tissue and is in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, University of Cincinnati doctors said Thursday afternoon.

Doctors said they don’t know what caused the brain damage. When asked whether it could be the result of beating or other violence while in prison, they said that Warmbier did not show any obvious indications of trauma, nor evidence of either acute or healing fractures. And no evidence of botulism, as North Korea suggested.

Daniel Kanter, medical director of the neuroscience intensive care unit at University of Cincinnati Medical Center said, the pattern of brain injury they see on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results appeared consistent with a cardiopulmonary arrest, with damage to brain tissue caused by lack of blood flow to the brain.

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