Following a recent minor stroke, Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers a significant stroke. Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over prime ministerial authority.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed into surgery at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem late Wednesday night, after intra-cranial bleeding was detected, following what doctors described as a “significant stroke.”
There was no immediate assessment of the damage he may have suffered, but doctors assessed that Sharon’s chances of recovery may not be high.
As a result of his condition, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over prime ministerial authority, Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon told reporters.
(Police stand guard outside the hospital’s emergency room).
Dr. Shmuel Shapira of Hadassah Hospital told Channel 2 TV that Sharon suffered “a massive stroke, he was taken to an operating room to drain the blood.”
Doctors said earlier that the prime minister was receiving breathing assistance as his condition was assessed.
A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding inside his brain.
Addressing reporters in English, Mor-Yosef said Sharon had “massive bleeding and was being transferred to an operating theater.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage Wednesday and was receiving breathing assistance while under general anesthetic, a hospital official said. Power was transferred to his deputy.
CNN: Sharon suffers ‘significant’ stroke Power transferred to Israel’s deputy prime minister
The stroke was Sharon’s second in less than three weeks. Sharon had been taken from his home in the south of Israel to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed a cerebral hemorrhage, or the bleeding of a blood vessel in the brain.
“Given the fact that the treatment of the prime minister requires anesthetic, I spoke to the attorney general a few minutes ago and I spoke to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Olmert, and it’s been decided that Mr. Olmert, who is at home … should have powers transferred to him,” said Cabinet Secretary Israel Maimon.
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Washington Post: Israel’s Sharon Suffers Massive Stroke
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke Wednesday and was on a respirator after falling ill at his ranch. Doctors operated to drain excess blood from his brain.
Powers were transferred to his deputy, Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.
Security agents and police spread out around the Jerusalem hospital before Sharon arrived, setting up a security perimeter. Later, they surrounded Olmert’s residence in Jerusalem. Under Israeli law, Olmert is to serve as acting prime minister until Sharon can resume his powers.
On Dec. 18, Sharon was taken to Hadassah Hospital from his office after suffering the mild stroke. Doctors said he would not suffer long-term effects, but they discovered a birth defect in his heart that apparently contributed to the stroke.
According to The BBC, Israeli PM suffers serious stroke
Officials said the 77-year-old leader was unconscious and had experienced “massive” cerebral bleeding.
Doctors stopped the bleeding after more than six hours of surgery ended Thursday morning, but he was sent back to the operating room when a CT scan revealed that he required more treatment, said Hadassah Hospital Director Shlomo Mor-Yosef.
Calling Sharon’s condition “serious,” he said the operation was expected to last several more hours. Mor-Yosef said the prime minister was still on a respirator.
“It looks very bad. I don’t know if he will recover,” said a senior political source after Sharon, 77, was taken in an ambulance from his ranch in southern Israel to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem late on Wednesday.
Sharon’s death or incapacitation would cause political upheaval in Israel ahead of a March 28 general election he had been expected to win on a platform of ending conflict with the Palestinians. He has been prime minister since 2001.
Hopes of any negotiations on Palestinian statehood would be given another setback.