The general medical condition of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was more critical than his doctors and advisers have reported since his first stroke on December 18, 2005. In addition to the heart problem they disclosed, Sharon was suffering from cardiac and cerebral diseases that the doctors kept from the public....Haaretz's inquiry shows that Sharon also suffered from more serious, life-threatening heart problems, including a large aneurysm in the septum. This is known to be a source of cerebral blood embolisms, and indeed led to the blood clot that caused Sharon's first stroke, senior doctors at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem believe.
However, Sharon also suffered from other heart diseases. These include a shunt that causes blood to flow spontaneously through the hole in the septum from right to left - the wrong direction - which is dangerous. Sharon also had other conditions in the cardiac septum that created further risks of blood clots that could wind up in the brain.
Senior doctors said this usually requires early treatment with blood-thinners and cardiac catheterization, as the cardiologists and neurologists at Hadassah had recommended.
But they said it also required closer surveillance, because the blood thinner Sharon had received could have been extremely dangerous, due to the additional disease discovered, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which is liable to make cerebral hemorrhaging extremely hard to treat - as was the case.
The CAA diagnosis, which Haaretz revealed some two weeks ago, was also concealed from the public.
Senior doctors said the dangerous heart disease Sharon had raises several other questions about the partial and vague information that his doctors gave the media and the public under the guise of "full disclosure."
Another senior doctor said the doctors were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The cardiac disease created the danger of an embolism, but the medicine to prevent this increased chances of cerebral hemorrhaging.
There had to be a reason they treated with anticoagulants and nothing we'd seen earlier provided such a reason. This does provide a justification. This is an unusual heart problem and assuming it is true that CAA was detected after the first stroke--it is still not clear how that was done--there was indeed a hard decision. Keeping the problems secret was misleading; letting him go to the Negev and not operating soon were needless risks. This latest revelation underscores what I stated immediately after the second stroke. The lack of preparedness for what to do in the event of the likely risk of a hemorrhage was negligence on the part of Sharon's inner circle. As Haaretz emphasizes:
If Sharon had arrived even half an hour earlier at Hadassah he would have been saved, or at least the brain damage would have been a lot less significant.
Incidentally, some may mistakenly claim that my neurologist source overemphasized the poor judgement aspect of the story. As I have emphasized all along, major questions still cannot be answered because the actual medical records have been withheld and at times misrepresented. What my neurologist source has done is an analysis of the existing data while emphasizing where the holes are. For example:
Since they have not released information to suggest a substantial clot risk requiring aggressive (heparin) anticoagulation it remains questionable why they chose such a course of action that at least in retrospect clearly contributed significantly to his deterioration.
Much of the information that has been released is only in response to precisely the kind of medical detective work that IRIS has been in front of. We have emphasized all along that:
There is one way to stop the controversy: come clean and release the medical information as promised. Stop releasing sufficient information only about the attempt to keep him alive in a debilitated state and explain the treatment leading up to his massive brain hemmorrage.