LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s platelet count dropped again on Saturday and doctors termed his condition “critical”.

“Mr Sharif’s platelets reduced from 55,000 to 38,000 on Saturday,” said a member of the medical board treating the three-time premier at the Services Hospital.

Mr Sharif’s personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, tweeted: “Mr Sharif remains critical. The treating doctors tried to reduce the steroids dose being given to him but unfortunately resulted in drop in platelet count again which has come down to 38,000.”

He said: “Severe existent co-morbidities (IHD, ECVD, DM, HTN, CKD3) have added to the seriousness of the nature of critical illness, whereas very delicate balance has to be maintained between coagulation and anti-coagulation to sustain fragile unstable health status. He remains critical. The cause needs to be diagnosed and established without delay.”

Dr Khan had also said that despite all efforts, Mr Sharif’s underlying diseases and the treatment itself had led to complicated clinical consequences with significantly unstable critical health status. “Nawaz Sharif remains under treatment in intensive care setting, requiring aggressive management.”

“Mr Sharif continues on life saving doses of Steroids & Eltrombopag (Revolade; thrombopoietin receptor agonist) to achieve a platelet count safe for maintenance of coronary/carotid circulation (avoiding heart attack and stroke) & also to avoid spontaneous bleeding,” Mr Khan had said on Friday.

Mr Sharif was shifted to the hospital from the National Accountability Bureau Lahore’s custody on Oct 21 after his personal physician raised an alarm, saying the patient’s condition was serious as his platelets had dropped to a critically low level.

The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Nawaz Sharif for eight weeks, suspending his seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia corruption reference on medical grounds.

Earlier, the former prime minister had secured bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case from the Lahore High Court on similar ground.

On Dec 24 last year, an accountability court had sentenced the former prime minister to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case but acquitted him in the Flagship case.

The court said in its short verdict that there was solid evidence against Mr Sharif and he could not provide a money trail in the Al-Azizia case.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2019