Doctors differ on Argentine president's recovery

2013-10-09 07:28
A supporter of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez prays outside the Favaloro Hospital where Fernandez had surgery in Buenos Aires. (File, AP)

A supporter of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez prays outside the Favaloro Hospital where Fernandez had surgery in Buenos Aires. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Argentina
    The book's handy pocket size makes it an ideal companion for visitors to Argentina. Now R209.00
    buy now

Buenos Aires - As President Cristina Fernandez recovers from surgery to relieve pressure on her brain, surgeons are offering widely different views on how long it might be for her to retake control of a government that seems entirely dependent on her calling the shots.

Many Argentines have expressed concern at her being sidelined only three weeks before congressional elections, just when US Supreme Court rejection of an Argentine appeal makes another debt default more likely, the economy has slowed sharply, and her Vice President Amado Boudou is under investigation for corruption.

"This is no time to go on automatic pilot," economist Jorge Todesca said in a letter to his clients.

Todesca said Fernandez has run the government like an "anarchy" characterised by spontaneous acts, short-term thinking and key decisions that she often makes from within an intimate circle of advisers.

Without her daily presence, top officials could lack the political authority they need to manage a looming economic crisis, he said.

Fernandez's doctors said she suffered no complications from their removal of a blood clot from the surface of the right side of her brain on Tuesday. But their brief post-surgical report made no reference to how long the president would need to rest or how much Argentines could expect from her in the meantime.

Potential complications

Some outside experts said that patients can need as much as three months to recover from such surgeries, and that only time will tell if her still-unexplained head injury caused lasting brain damage. Others said the 60-year-old leader could be safely back at work within days.

Brain surgeon Rolando Cardenas, who directs the Stroke Committee of the Argentine Cardiology Society, said she'll likely need to keep a drain in her skull and remain in intensive therapy for up to three days.

If her headaches, muscle weakness and numbness disappear by then, "her recovery time would be shorter. In that case I estimate that in about 45 days she could return to full activity," Cardenas said.

Former US President Ronald Reagan suffered a similar injury when he fell off a horse after leaving office, and quickly recovered from surgery to remove the blood clot at the Mayo Clinic, said Dr John H. Sampson, a brain surgeon at Duke University.

"The Argentines don't have to worry that they're going to be without a president for any period of time. Literally, within a week she'll be back in the office, very competent and with no risk," Sampson predicted.

But Kevin McGrail, the neurosurgery chairperson at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, said the irregular heart beat that Fernandez suffers could complicate her recovery.

Fernandez's office has not released any details about any drugs she may be taking, but arrhythmia patients commonly take aspirin or other blood thinners, and these anti-coagulants would have to be stopped for her brain to heal. That increases the risk of a stroke, so she'll need to be careful, McGrail said.

"If she's on a blood thinner, that would cause a whole other set of problems, and it would explain a lot of things, because she's a little young otherwise for a chronic subdural" hematoma, McGrail said.

Dr Claudio Santamaría, who runs Argentina's Superior Institute of Health Sciences, agreed that Fernandez shouldn't take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicine that could cause more bleeding. And while only 10% of patients suffer complications following surgery, he urged that she not try to do too much too soon.

"She can't travel by car for two to four weeks, because the movements and the braking can re-injure the wound," he said, adding that she should avoid exercise altogether for three months.

Neurologist Gabriel Persi, meanwhile, said the president should rest as much as possible to avoid stressing her heart.

Fernandez's spokesperson, Alfredo Scoccimarro, said the next medical report would come at midday on Wednesday, and left the hospital steps without answering questions about her condition.

While Boudou clearly assumed control of the executive branch, the presidency didn't release a formal transfer-of-power document indicating how long this situation might last. Boudou said he and other top officials would run Argentina as a team "while she gets the rest she deserves".

- AP

Read more on:    cristina fernandez  |  argentina
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.