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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fidel Castro: A surgical error

Famous people suffer from medical errors, along with the rest of us. Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba since 1956, had developed infected pouches in his large intestine (“diverticulitis”). That later led to a very serious inflammation of his stomach lining (“peritonitis”).

His doctors have recently performed a series of failed operations. An infection developed from the first one. A colostomy also failed. In a third operation, surgeons implanted a Korean prosthesis, which failed. One complication--stitches that did not heal properly—required seven trips to the operating room in a single day in December.

The head surgeon at the hospital in Madrid. Spain explained that Castro, now 80 years old, does not have cancer or a malign inflammation, but rather has “a benign process in which he has had a series of complications.“

Read about the medical experiences of William Rehnquist or Ed Bradley, or read more about this in Marc Lacey's article, “Castro Impaired by Three Surgeries, Paper Reports,” New York Times, Jan. 16, page A4.

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