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US student released by North Korea “has severe injury to all brain regions”

Otto Warmbier
Otto Warmbier

Doctors who are treating an American college student released by North Korea in a coma say he has severe injury to all regions of his brain.

On Thursday, they described 22-year-old Otto Warmbier as in a state of "unresponsiveness wakefulness".

They say he does not show any consistent response to stimulation, shows no sign of understanding language, responding to commands or awareness of his environment.

Doctors with the University of Cincinnati Health system say Mr Warmbier shows extensive loss of brain tissue, consistent with respiratory arrest, when the brain is cut off from oxygen but they are not sure why.

They said his prognosis remains confidential.

Mr Warmbier is in stable condition at UC Medical Centre, where he was taken on Tuesday night after his arrival in Ohio.