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A senior doctor said that he "didn't understand how the prime minister, two weeks after a stroke and the night before he was supposed to undergo catheterization, was allowed to spend the night at an isolated ranch in the south of the country."
In an interview to Army Radio, Professor Shmuel Shapira, Deputy Director of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, refuted criticism of Sharon's treatment. "We are very pleased," Shapira said. "We wish everyone would receive this level of care, decisions made this quickly."
Sources at Hadassah Hospital said late Thursday night that Sharon suffered extensive damage to the right lobe of his brain during the hemorrhage that he suffered Wednesday night.
They noted that such damage might negatively affect his motor capabilities in the left side of his body, as well as cause a deterioration in speech.
The sourced revealed that Sharon's medical condition might have been caused by personal or emotional stress. They couldn't reject the possibility that the recent reports of developments in the police investigations against Sharon severely harmed his health.
Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director general of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, said Thursday that the prime minister's condition was still serious but stable since the afternoon. He noted that all of the parameters that were measured - blood pressure, pulse, urine production, intracranial pressure - were all within the standards expected for someone in Sharon's condition.
The prime minister was placed in an induced coma and was artificially respirated since his surgery on Thursday morning.
Mor-Yosef explained that the prime minister's medical treatment was meant to reduce his inter-cranial pressure to allow his brain to recover from the trauma of both his hemorrhaging and the surgeries which he underwent.
It was later revealed that a CAT scan machine was to be brought into Sharon's room on Friday in order to see if all of the hemorrhaging was controlled or whether there were still sources of bleeding in his brain.
In response to a reporter's question, Mor-Yosef mentioned that the prime minister responded properly to an examination of his pupils. Sharon was expected to be awakened from his coma on Sunday in order to assess his motor and cognitive capabilities. Only then will his condition be more fully assessed.
The hospital official emphasized that the treatment was one that takes time, that it "is not run with a stopwatch. It is not the kind of treatment that could keep pace with 21st century media coverage." He reported that it would take 48-72 hours to fully assess the situation.
Prof. Mor-Yosef insisted that the treatment which Sharon received during his last hospitalization and after his release, was appropriate.
He claimed that the decision to return to his intensive work after his last stroke was one which was reached by the prime minister after he received the approval of his doctors.
When Sharon felt ill Wednesday evening he was faced with the choice of going to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, which was much nearer to his Negev farm where he was located, or to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where he was hospitalized two weeks earlier.
Mor-Yosef backed the choice of hospitalization in Hadassah, since he was treated there previously, and the staff knew him well. The prime minister was initially scheduled to undergo catheterization at the hospital in order to repair a congenital hole in his heart.
Some doctors proffered an opinion that the process of stopping Sharon's brain hemorrhage was complicated by the blood thinners that the prime minister has been receiving twice daily since his first, minor, stroke some two weeks ago. Hadassah doctors neither confirmed nor denied this theory.
Due to his severe medical condition, Sharon's duties and authorities were transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The acting prime minister convened a special cabinet meeting on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in order to brief the ministers on the temporary transfer of powers.
Following the delicate situation that stirred the whole political system, the Likud froze its decision to resign from the government, originally planned for Sunday, to a later time. Across the whole political spectrum, politicians called for support and unity during this period of uncertainty.
Messages wishing Sharon a complete and speedy recovery poured in from across Israel and the rest of the world. The Arab world reacted with a mixture of concern and celebration.
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