Israeli PM Sharon rushed to hospital

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Ariel Sharon, 2004

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon (born Ariel Sheinerman), 77, has been admitted to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, after suffering what doctors said was a "massive" stroke.

According to reports from Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem, the Prime Minister was put under an anesthetic prior to surgery to address a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He has increased intracranial pressure due to the bleeding.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in Thursday's press briefing that its "thoughts and prayers" are with the Prime Minister, and that the White House will "continue to stay in touch with the government of Israel."

With Sharon in the hospital, control of Israel has now been transferred to his deputy, vice-premier Ehud Olmert.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem said that Sharon suffered "a significant stroke" and that he was "under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance." Minutes later, Mor-Yosef said that initial tests showed Sharon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and that he was suffering "massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater."

After over 6 hours of surgery Sharon received another CT scan which revealed further bleeding. Sharon was returned to the operating room for additional surgery that is expected to last several hours.

According to Wikipedia, "A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted" and many news sources are reporting this situation is life threatening.

Last month on December 18th, Sharon suffered a minor stroke and was admitted to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital after feeling unwell driving home and having difficulties with his speech. During his treatment, he was found to have a minor hole in his heart and was scheduled for surgery on January 5th. Sharon was treated and released December 20th.

Sharon's notorious overeating was a significant risk factor for the health complications he has experienced. Prior to his first stroke, he consumed a meal consisting of hamburgers, lamb, kebabs, steak in chimchurri sauce, and salad. Since that stroke Sharon had lost weight, though he had been known to have his security detail smuggle him pita filled with greasy meat during previous efforts.

On January 6th, in a front-page article in Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper, Canadian medical experts questioned the anticoagulent that Sharon had been receiving before his massive stroke, noting that the decision to use it may have cost him his life, and that he would have been unlikely to receive that treatment in Canada. They also noted that his prognosis for recovery is extremely poor.