Nawaz's condition improving after rise in platelet count: doctors

Updated 24 Oct 2019

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Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be taken to Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) & Research Centre for a PET Scan, Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) principal, Dr Mahmood Ayyaz said on Thursday. — AFP/File
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be taken to Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) & Research Centre for a PET Scan, Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) principal, Dr Mahmood Ayyaz said on Thursday. — AFP/File

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's condition is improving as his platelets count increased to 20,000 from 7,000, Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Dr Mahmood Ayaz said on Thursday.

Dr Ayaz added that the bone marrow of the patient is "completely functional".

The hospital administration confirmed today that according to initial test reports, Nawaz Sharif was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia. According to the doctors, the disease causes the breakdown of blood cells. The doctors at the hospital declared thrombocytopenia a treatable disease.

Earlier in the day, Dr Ayaz had said that the patient would be taken to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) and Research Centre for a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. The scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how one's tissues and organs are functioning.

According to sources in the hospital, the incarcerated prime minister refused to be shifted to the PKLI.

Bail petition filed in LHC

Meanwhile, a request was filed today at the Lahore High Court by Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N president and younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, seeking bail for Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference. The court asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a response, adjourning the hearing till tomorrow.

The court also asked that a detailed report on Nawaz's health be submitted by the Punjab government and summoned Dr Ayaz for tomorrow's hearing.

During the hearing, Shahbaz's counsel contended that Nawaz's health was a matter of "life or death" and informed the court that Dr Raza Shamsi had specially been called over from Karachi, and that he, along with Dr Ayaz is overseeing Nawaz's treatment.

Separately at the LHC, a petition was also filed by Maryam Nawaz, seeking her own bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference against her. NAB was instructed to file a response to this petition as well, by tomorrow.

IHC moved for suspension of sentence

Earlier in the day, Shahbaz had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking suspension of Nawaz's sentence in the Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds. The PML-N president also requested the court to release his brother on bail till a decision was made on the appeal against his conviction.

The petition had contended that Nawaz should be allowed to be treated by a medical expert/doctor in Pakistan or abroad, as per his choice.

The IHC registrar office had raised objections over the petition, saying that Shahbaz, the applicant, was not the affected individual. A division bench of the IHC, however, removed the objections after hearing arguments from Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Sharif family.

The court summoned the medical superintendent from Services Hospital to personally appear before the court with a fresh medical report. A response was also sought from the Punjab chief secretary and home secretary.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.

Critical drop in platelets

NAB had shifted Nawaz to Lahore's Services Hospital late on Monday night after his personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, had raised an alarm about his critical condition in the accountability watchdog's custody.

On Tuesday, doctors at the hospital had termed Nawaz's condition as 'serious' despite the transfusion of three mega units of platelets within hours of his admission.

According to the medical tests carried out on Tuesday, the platelet count of the former premier "dropped from 16,000 to a critical level of 2,000" when he was brought to hospital late on Monday night, prompting the medical board members to go for "immediate transfusion of the platelets to save his life", one of the board members had said.