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Argentina's president to have Brain surgery

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Argentina's president to have Brain surgery

Post  Panda on Tue 8 Oct - 8:42

Argentina: Kirchner To Have Brain SurgeryCristina Fernandez de Kirchner's head injury worsens, bringing growing political uncertainty just three weeks before elections.7:01am UK, Tuesday 08 October 2013 Ms Kirchner attended the G20 summit in Russia in September
EmailArgentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will undergo surgery to treat bleeding on her brain.

Ms Kirchner, 60, was initially ordered to rest for a month on Saturday after doctors found the subdural haematoma following a blow to the head in August.

But doctors decided to operate after she complained of tingling and a temporary loss of muscle strength in her left arm late on Sunday.

"Facing these symptoms, the team decided on surgical intervention," doctors from Buenos Aires's Fundacion Favaloro hospital said in a statement.

The procedure - which involves drilling small holes through the skull to remove old blood - is considered to be low risk.

In the statement, Ms Kirchner's doctors attributed the injury to a still unexplained blow to her head on August 12.

That would have been the day after a primary vote showed a significant drop in support for ruling party candidates, despite her intensive campaigning.

Mr Boudou is under investigation for alleged corruption

AFP news agency reports Ms Kirchner was injured in a fall.

Ms Kirchner's spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said that tests "showed nothing" at the time of the injury, which was not disclosed at the time.

But on Saturday, Ms Kirchner went to hospital for checks on an irregular heartbeat, and because she was suffering headaches they carried out further tests and found the subdural haematoma - a clot inside her skull that was putting pressure on her brain.

Ms Kirchner's medical drama comes at a politically fraught moment, with only three weeks until legislative elections in which she hopes to retain control of Congress in the middle of her final term.

As she returned to the hospital on Monday, Vice President Amado Boudou pledged to keep the government running, though he has not officially assumed the presidency.

"As the president asked us, we are going to maintain the administration," he said.

But he made no mention of Ms Kirchner's planned operation, and he did not specify which presidential duties he will take over during Ms Kirchner's recuperation.

It has not been formally announced whether Mr Boudou will be formally installed as interim leader in her absence.

Ms Kirchner at the UN General Assembly meeting in August

A figure of controversy, Mr Boudou is under investigation for alleged corruption and currently has one of the worst images among Argentine politicians.

Fernando Navarro, a leader of Ms Kirchner's ruling coalition, told local radio station El Mundo the president was in "good spirits, surrounded by family," and that her condition was "not serious".

But an opposition candidate raised concerns over the uncertainty surrounding Ms Kirchner's medical condition.

"There is missing information," Jose Ignacio de Mendiguren told Radio La Red.

"We should be getting more information about the seriousness of the issue."

Argentina's first democratically elected female leader has had several health concerns while in office.

In January 2012, less than a month into her second term, Ms Kirchner underwent surgery to remove her thyroid gland only to be told that she had been mistakenly diagnosed with cancer.

But news of Ms Kirchner's latest ailment caught Argentina by surprise.

She showed no hint of ill-health in the weeks following the fall, maintaining a busy schedule and trips to Paraguay, Russia and the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

It is not unusual for symptoms of a chronic subdural haematoma to take weeks to appear, and many patients do not even recall injuring their heads, according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States.

Symptoms can include confusion, decreased memory, difficulty speaking and walking, drowsiness, headaches, and weakness or numbness in the arms, leg or face.
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