Duration of Sharon Coma Worries Some

From Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s failure to wake up from a coma nine days after a massive stroke does not bode well for his recovery, some doctors said Friday.

Sharon, 77, remained in critical but stable condition, said Hadassah University Medical Center spokesman Ron Krumer.

Israel’s Channel 10 television and Army Radio cited Hadassah officials as saying they were worried that Sharon had shown no sign of awakening. Doctors have begun weaning him off sedatives used to keep his blood pressure in check and help his brain heal.


Krumer and some outside experts said it was too early to make conclusions. “The period of time it takes a patient to wake up ... differs from one patient to another,” Krumer said.

Although doctors induced a coma, the condition may also be due to the Jan. 4 stroke itself.

Channel One television cited one of Sharon’s neurosurgeons, Felix Umansky, as saying he was optimistic. But other experts said the prognosis looked poor.

Dr. Howard Riina, professor of neurological surgery at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College in New York, said, “The fact that he’s not completely awake at this point does not bode well for a good

Nick Ward, a neurologist at University College London, said, “He’s not going to get back to normal, that’s for sure.”