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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

What's the situation regarding Sharon's health?

The IRIS Blog presents some interesting facts surrounding press coverage of the now "recovered" Ariel Sharon's health, which has remained shrouded in the usual media fog. However, there has been some interesting news that the medical team has been disputing the info given at the hospital press conferences, and that comes in contrast to the reports that he was "not confused at any point":
The medical team that treated the prime minister when he was first brought to the hospital, however, told the Ma`ariv newspaper that Sharon had been quite confused for most of an hour.

"What was said at the press conference was, to understate, not exact," they said. "The prime minister did not know what day it was, what time it was or where he was. For 45 minutes he could not count or perform basic movements. They [the hospital officials –ed.] are not obligated to disclose everything, but to give inaccurate information is already taking a position [on the matter of the PM's health] and is very problematic. Throughout the first night of his hospitalization the confusion continued, to a lesser extent, and Sharon has not returned to himself completely."
I know that a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a very serious illness (see here for earlier news report), and the confusion could be as a result of it. And if Sharon is in as bad a state of health as it sounds, that's another reason why he's too old to be a viable candidate. As IRIS says:
It's time for Netanyahu to borrow from the playbook of his rival Ehud Olmert. The popular Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek was defeated on a brilliant out-of-the-box campaign slogan that swung the votes of many of his staunchest supporters. "Teddy we love you, but it's time to retire."
Speaking of Olmert, it's a shame that in the years since then, he's gone way downhill, even going so far as to do a volte-face upon his original positions, and defected from Likud for Kadima.

IRIS also got a letter from a neurologist who commented on the subject, which can be read at the link.

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Being a lifeguard, and having studied this sort of thing a bit, the confusion you speak about is referred to medically as "level of consciousness."
When you've just suffered a stroke, having a decreased level of consciousness is to be expected, and is indeed one of the ways people recognize a stroke (besides not being able to move fully, because one side of your brain is is a bad condition). So I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a major issue, or that they're not releasing his records is a major issue.

Yeah, it's a good theory. I'll see if I can pass it on to IRIS as well.

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