Doctor says Sharon making progress

Doctors treating Ariel Sharon say a scan carried out found no more traces of blood in the Israeli premier's brain following last week's massive stroke.

    The Israeli prime minister suffered a stroke last week

    "The residue of blood in his brain has been absorbed," said a statement released by Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital where the prime minister is being treated.
    "The drainage tube inserted into his skull has been removed," the statement on Thursday added, explaining that it could have been a source of infection.
    Doctors were now inserting an intravenous drip in a bid to further reduce the risk of infection, something that chief neurosurgeon Felix Umansky had told AFP earlier was now their principal concern.
    Umansky said he believed Sharon was now "out of danger", but warned that like any other coma patient, the Israeli leader was "not immune to infections".
    "Each day there is slight progress. He is moving more easily although he is still under sedation," he told AFP.
    "Little by little, he is giving us more signs that he is getting better but he will not wake up for the next day or two."
    Although Sharon was suffering from a slightly irregular heartbeat (known as 'arrhythmia'), medication had returned his heart beat to normal.
    Umansky also said Sharon had reacted upon hearing the voice of his son, Gilad. "His blood pressure went up significantly at the very moment when (Gilad) told him he was standing at his side," he told AFP.
    But he urged patience, saying that the process of coming out of a coma was extremely slow.
    "You cannot expect us to press a button and suddenly the patient coming out of a coma will start talking and moving as if nothing had happened. The prime minister will remain unconscious and will come out of it very slowly," he stressed.
    "From now on, we cannot expect sudden changes."



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