Injuries to circus performers include spinal fractures - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Injuries to circus performers include spinal fractures

Injuries to circus performers include spinal fractures

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By: Melissa Randall

Days after these eight acrobats were sent to the hospital after a terrifying circus accident we’re learning about the road to recovery for the women. None of them had head injuries but many did suffer broken bones. Doctors now say two of the acrobats have serious spinal fractures.

Just moments after the curtain lifted revealing the Ringling Brothers ‘Human Chandelier’ something went terribly wrong. A clamp gave way and eight women went crashing to the ground.

In total nine people were rushed from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to Rhode Island Hospital.

8 of the performers had spinal fractures- three of which are considered critical. For two patients that meant having little to no movement when they arrived. Three days after the terrifying fall and both are showing some improvement, but it's unclear whether they will walk again. Still, doctors say the performers are an inspiration.

“They really inspired our staff with their courage, with their positive attitude- they really have rallied the floors they’ve been on. They’re professional athletes but more than that- their attitude is just infectious, and it's going to play a huge part in their recovery,” said Dr. Timothy Babineau, President and CEO of Lifespan and Rhode Island Hospital.

In total 17 surgeries have been performed on the 8 women in the last 3 days. To date two patients have been discharged, four remain in serious condition in the ICU, and three are in good condition.

It could be at least another week before they are even able to leave the hospital. Doctors say the length of stay will be determined on a case by case basis.

All of the performers will likely have to undergo rehab for some length of time. The troupe has already told doctors that when that time comes they want to do it together.

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