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    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Political Medical Watch: The Associated Press, The New York Times and some Israeli reporters have reviewed Yasser Arafat's medical records. They say he died of a stroke, caused by the loss of the ability to form blood clots which in turn was caused by a blood clot. (I remember someone in the medical blogosphere speculating at the time that this is what happened):

    According to the French report, Arafat suffered a digestive ailment about 30 days before his death. He also had an "acute" case of a blood disorder, disseminated intravascular coagulation, or D.I.C. The report was signed by Bruno Pats, a senior doctor at the hospital.

    Hospital director Dr. Jean-Paul Burlaton refused to discuss Arafat's medical records. "We did our job at the appropriate time and so we have no comment to make," he told AP.

    ....The biggest unknown was the nature of an infection that appears to have led to the blood disorder D.I.C., which was never controlled and led to his death. The Times medical experts, like the French doctors, could not determine where in Arafat's bowel the infection was located and what microbes caused it. It said one possibility might have been food contamination.

    Arafat became ill with nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating dinner in his compound last Oct. 12. The symptoms continued for more than two weeks before he was evacuated to France. He died Nov. 11.

    He may have developed diarrhea and abdominal pain two weeks before he was evacuated, but when he left, he looked like a man with advanced liver failure. Liver failure also causes DIC. And liver failure can be caused by a multitude of ills, including alcohol abuse, hepatitis (infectious and autoimmune) and cancer. In the United States, the causes would have been hunted down, no matter how ill the guy was when he came in, because we don't really think much about the cost of all of our tests. No doubt in France they're a little more cost conscious and pragmatic. Why spend a lot of money hunting down the cause of an incurable malady when it isn't going to make any difference in the outcome?

    It would, have, however, put an end to the bickering between the Palestinians, who favor poisoning as a cause, and the Israelis, who seem intent on blaming AIDS.

    posted by Sydney on 9/09/2005 08:33:00 AM 0 comments


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