Ariel Sharon official portrait - April 2001
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Photo by GPO
Text size

The medical condition of former prime minister Ariel Sharon has further deteriorated, the director of the hospital where he is being treated said in a news conference on Friday morning.

The health of Sharon, who had been comatose for over eight years, took a turn for the worse this week.

"Our tests show signs of a severe blood infection [sepsis]," said the director general of Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Zeev Rotstein, adding that Sharon was not through fighting. "He is fighting like a real warrior, like he did throughout his life."

On Thursday, Rotstein had said Sharon was in critical condition.

Responding to a forthright question of one reporter asking whether Sharon would die, Rotstein said that in his opinion Sharon's days were numbered, but that the doctors treating him "remain hopeful."

Sharon has been suffering in recent days from renal failure, sources said Wednesday, but was not expected to undergo dialysis due to the dangers the procedure could present given his fragile physical state. Rostein confirmed Wednesday that Sharon had not undergone dialysis, but was "still getting the same medical treatments he has been getting for years."

"If there was a problem in just one organ, it would be a different story, but [Sharon] is suffering problems in a number of organs," Rotstein said Wednesday.

Sharon, 85, is hospitalized in Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv, and has been comatose since January 4, 2006, when he suffered a brain hemorrhage.

A source with knowledge of Sharon's condition said Wednesday that if his health continues to deteriorate, it would be "a matter of days" until he passes away. The source said that Sharon's family is currently by his bed and holding consultations with medical staff.

Sharon has been comatose in the hospital for the past eight years. He has been getting medical care, and receiving fluids through a feeding tube.