Madiba responding well to treatment for lungs

2012-12-12 00:00

PRIVATE specialists are treating former president Nelson Mandela for a lung infection.

Sister paper Beeld has learned that no military doctors are involved in his care, in the VIP wing of 1 Military Hospital near Pretoria.

SANDF doctors have been responsible for his ongoing care since he retired to Qunu following an earlier lung infection in 2011.

The VIP wing is sealed off, and no staff from the main hospital are allowed in. All staff have been warned not to speak to the media, Beeld learnt.

Mandela was admitted to hospital on Saturday.

The presidency said yesterday: “Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment, and he is responding to the treatment.

“President [Jacob] Zuma thanks the public for continuous support to former president Mandela and his family at this time.”

Mark Sonderup, a medical doctor and vice-chair of the South African Medical Association, said respiratory infections are common among elderly people.

“As one ages, one of the commonest problems of elderly people is chest infection,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be unusual,” he said, while adding that it must always be treated seriously.

In rare cases respiratory infections can be fatal and the chances of complications grow if the patient is elderly, has chronic respiratory ailments or suffers from diseases that weaken the immune system.

“Obviously he’s got something that’s more than just the simple cough and obviously you want to treat it properly, and apparently that’s what’s being done,” said Sonderup, who is not involved in Mandela’s treatment.

“If the same patient was under my care I would do the exact same thing,” he said of the hospitalisation.

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