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(photo credit: AP [file])
Doctors at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem announced that the CT scan conducted Saturday on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon showed a "very slight" improvement. Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the hospital's director general, said that the intracranial pressure had decreased and that Sharon's vital signs were normal.
Mor-Yosef reiterated that the prime minister's condition was stable, but nevertheless serious. He also said that while the latest CT scan showed that although the left side of Sharon's brain appeared "normal," there would be no way of assessing the extent of the damage caused by the prime minister's cerebral hemorrhage until doctors brought Sharon out of his induced coma.
On Sunday morning, Hadassah neurologists, neurosurgeons, and anesthesiologists will meet and discuss continued treatment.
Mor-Yosef also told reporters that representatives of Tel Hashomer, Ichilov, Soroka, Poria, Barzilai, Bikur Holim, and Sha'arei Zedek hospitals had all called Hadassah with messages of support for the staff's efforts to save Sharon's life.
Earlier Saturday, Eli Landau, a top adviser to Sharon, told the press that "The CT scans from Saturday morning show an additional improvement."
"I am now more optimistic and can believe that Sharon will improve from his current state," Landau added, sounding one of the first notes of optimism since the prime minister's hospitalization.
Sharon was reported in stable serious condition Saturday morning following a third operation to stop intracranial bleeding on Friday. Hadassah hospital spokesman Ron Krumer said there had been no change in the prime minister's condition since that third operation, and hospital emphasized that because of the Sabbath, the next planned update on the prime minister's condition would be Sunday.
At 5:35 p.m. on Friday, Mor-Yosef briefed the press outside of the emergency room. Mor-Yosef prefaced his remarks by saying that although Hadassah as an institution honors the Sabbath, the gravity of Sharon's situation necessitated constant updates.
Mor-Yosef confirmed that the intracranial pressure had been relieved, and blood clots remaining from the previous operation were successfully drained.
Professor Mor-Yosef explained that Hadassah neurologists and neurosurgeons agreed that the most recent CT scan results showed a 'significant' improvement in Sharon's condition. He added that doctors were working to adjust the placement of the catheter, and that Sharon would be moved to neurological intensive care, where he would be closely monitored.
The latest CT scan followed a three-hour operation earlier Friday, the third the prime minister had undergone since he arrived at the hospital Wednesday night.
Earlier Friday Sharon was rushed back to the operating room after a precautionary CT scan performed on him late Friday morning showed new bleeding in the same area of the brain and an expansion in his cerebral ventricles.
The prime minister has been in an induced coma and respirated since Thursday; on Sunday, doctors plan to bring him out of the coma in order to assess the extent of the damage caused by the severe brain hemorrhaging.
Sharon was first brought to Hadassah-University Hospital Wednesday night after complaining of weakness and chest pressure and pain. While on his way to the hospital, Sharon's spokesmen claimed that the prime minister was conscious and able to speak, but had complained that he was suffering from weakness and "felt ill."
It initially appeared that his condition was not life-threatening. According to well-placed sources, there were two deteriorations, the first just prior to the arrival at Hadassah and the second, upon entering the trauma unit.
While at the hospital it was discovered that the prime minister suffered from massive cerebral bleeding. After a six-hour operation that continued for most of Wednesday night, the prime minister returned to the operating room early Thursday morning following a CT scan that revealed additional areas of cerebral bleeding.
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