Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could be off work for months and is facing the prospect of surgery after sustaining "serious injuries" in a terrifying fall at his home on Tuesday morning.

He was rushed to hospital, where doctors discovered he had broken several ribs and fractured his T7 vertebrae and later that night he was transferred to a specialist trauma centre at The Alfred Hospital following an MRI.

On Wednesday night, a government spokesperson provided an update on the Premier's condition, announcing that: "On the advice of clinicians at The Alfred, there are no immediate plans for surgery."

The Alfred's ICU director associate professor Steve McGloughlin also revealed in a statement that Mr Andrews' condition was stable.

"Mr Andrews is comfortable and his pain is well-controlled," he said.

"A multidisciplinary team including intensive care, trauma and orthopaedic specialists has developed a treatment plan, together with the Andrews family.

"Mr Andrews has sustained some serious injuries, and his condition is being monitored closely. At this stage there is no immediate plan for surgery."

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could be out of action for months. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews could be out of action for months. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

However, a government insider told The Age there was a more than a 50 per cent chance Mr Andrews would require surgery, with the final decision to be made later this week.

The publication also reported the Premier could be off work for up to three months as he recovers - with Police Minister Lisa Neville also on leave during the same period.

If he were to undergo spinal surgery, it would involve inserting screws and pins to reinforce the vertebrae, and a lengthy and tough recovery process.

Mr Andrews released a statement on the day of his accident thanking medics who had helped him, saying he, wife Cath and their children were "extremely grateful to the Ambulance Victoria paramedics who showed such care and kindness to our family this morning, as we are to the clinicians who have taken care of me today".

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The Alfred Hospital is one of Melbourne’s major trauma centres. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw
The Alfred Hospital is one of Melbourne’s major trauma centres. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

"Our warm and sincere thanks go to the many family members, friends, colleagues and Victorians who have sent messages of love and support throughout the day. Thank you," he said.

"I hope to be able to provide another update later this week. James Merlino will serve as Acting Premier while I recover over the next few days. For now, we'd like to ask that our family's privacy is respected."

Orthopaedic surgeon John Cunningham previously told NCA NewsWire Mr Andrews had been hit with a "tragic accident" and that he would likely be "in a lot of pain and discomfort for some weeks to come".

"It may depend on whether he requires a brace or an operation on his back, but I expect as the injuries have been described to me that this accident will leave him with greatly reduced mobility," he said.

 

Originally published as Dan Andrews facing critical decision


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