PM's doctors consult rehab specialists

No reports of moving Sharon to long-term care; condition still serious, stable.

sharon hospital 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
sharon hospital 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Two senior experts in intensive care at the Beit Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital in Ra'anana were on Wednesday called in for consultation at the bedside at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who remains in serious but stable condition and in a deep coma. The experts were Dr. Leon Sasbon, who was head of the hospital's intensive care unit until he retired, and Dr. Ben-Zion Krinchansky, the current head of the unit. Both are experts in neurological rehabilitation and treatment of comatose patients. Hadassah refused to give any details about the consultation, which was initiated by Hadassah doctors taking care of the prime minister, who has been in a coma for three weeks after a devastating hemorrhagic stroke and three brain operations. The only information it provided was that Sharon's family was asked for permission to bring the two Beit Loewenstein physicians in for consultation. Hadassah has a rehabilitation center at its Mount Scopus hospital, but this facility treats mostly elderly patients who are conscious and need physical therapy after stroke or physical trauma rather than comatose patients with serious neurological injury. Hadassah spokeswoman Yael Bossem-Levy said that from Sharon's admission, Hadassah has consulted with various experts from outside the hospital. She declined to comment on whether Sharon would be transferred to the Ra'anana hospital sooner or later. Beit Loewenstein director-general Prof. Ya'acov Hart told The Jerusalem Post that he was not permitted to provide any information about the consultation because "it is not ethical." He did say that Hadassah staffers are "the best and giving the prime minister excellent care." His hospital currently has 100 stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation. It is relatively rare that they are brought in when comatose, and there are no such patients there now. Most of the comatose patients suffered trauma such as in a road accident. Beit Loewenstein's intensive care unit has 20 beds. Out of all coma patients at there, 81.5 percent of them eventually regain consciousness in weeks or even a few months -- but most of these went into a coma due to physical trauma, not stroke. Nevertheless, Beit Loewenstein is regarded as the best medical facility in the country to treat comatose patients and provide rehabilitation to those who regain consciousness but suffer physical and cognitive disabilities.