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Friday, March 17, 2006 

American Neurology Academy on Sharon's health situation

The American Academy of Neurology recently published some discussions on Ariel Sharon's health situation. From leftist Haaretz (via IRIS Blog):
American doctors, among them senior neurologists, have joined the chorus of criticism of the medical care given to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by physicians at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, and his personal physicians at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.

The negative assessment appeared in an article in the latest issue of Neurology Today, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, in interviews with four leading experts in stroke care and prevention.

The experts said they were not personally familiar with Sharon's case. However, on the issues raised in the article with regard to Sharon's treatment, the experts said treatment other than that given the prime minister would have been preferable.

Sharon's physicians said he had suffered a minor stroke and his general health was good. However, according to the article in Neurology Today, "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had all the telltale risk factors for a massive stroke. He was 77 years old, severly obese, and he had had a minor stroke less than 30 days ago."

Haaretz learned following Sharon's second stroke on January 4 that his medical condition was much more complex than that presented by his doctors and advisers in two press conferences on the matter. Sharon suffered from various risk factors, including a blood vessel disorder, cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The morning after Sharon's massive stroke, senior physicians, even at Hadassah itself, raised serious questions about his treatment and the fact that he spent the night at his ranch in the south the night before his scheduled catheterization.

Now, senior U.S. medical figures are weighing in on the matter. "One striking part of Mr. Sharon's saga is that he was taken in an ambulance for a trip to an emergency room more than one hour away," said Dr. Stephan A. Mayer, associate professor of clinical neurology and neurosurgery and director of the neuro-intensive care Unit at Columbia University Medical Center. Mayer added that he hoped Sharon's tragedy would would help inculcate that "if you have signs of a stroke, call 911 and go to the closest ER."

Mayer said Sharon's treatment was "something we call the 'VIP Syndrome' where you do things with famous people that you wouldn't do with ordinary people."
What Mayer is saying is that people like prominent politicians seem to undergo special coverups about their health just as much as they can get better treatment. And while good medical treatment is a good thing, stonewalling and covering up what exactly has been going on, which is typical of what happens with a lot of VIPs, just simply isn't.

IRIS also notes that Kadima's corruption could also have had something to do with the coverup, but because of all the stonewalling, there's no real way to tell for sure.

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