RUSSIAN MEDICS: ARAFAT IS IN 4TH DEGREE COMA, WHICH MAY LAST FOR DECADES

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MOSCOW, November 10 (RIA Novosti) - According to Russian medics, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat slipped into a 4th degree coma, which may last for many years.

"In this condition the patient does not react to any irritants, even pain," Valery Shabanov, head physician of the mutli-profile hospital of the all-Russia center of catastrophe medicine Zashchita (Defense) told RIA Novosti.

According to him, people in such a deep coma may preserve certain reflexes, for instance, tendon reflexes.

The patient may be in coma for decades, the doctor said adding that it depended on the treatment. In his words, some person was in coma for a record 22 years with a lung ventilation device.

The cerebral death is the diagnosis following the 4th degree coma, Mr. Shabanov explained.

Commenting on the reports on Yasser Arafat's condition, he said, "I cannot form a remote diagnosis without any information on the disease".

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