Ex-Pak PM Sharif diagnosed with immune disorder

Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. (File Photo)

Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been diagnosed with acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an immune disorder which leads to an abrupt and sharp drop in blood platelets, according to a medical board treating him said on Thursday.

The 69-year-old Pakistan Muslim League supremo Nawaz was rushed to the Services Hospital from the National Accountability Bureau's Lahore office late on Monday night after a massive drop in his platelet count.

Sharif received transfusions of mega units of platelets at the hospital the next day. However, his condition deteriorated again on Wednesday evening after the platelets count fell sharply to a life-threatening level of 7,000.

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.

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According to initial test reports, the three-time prime minister has been diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia.

The disease causes the breakdown of the blood cells and doctors at the hospital declared thrombocytopenia a treatable disease.

"The blood disorder is easily treatable in Pakistan," a doctor on the medical board treating the ailing politician was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Sharif has been put on IVIG, he said, adding that he would recover in a week's time.

IVIG, or Intravenous immunoglobulin, is a treatment that combines immunoglobulins donated by different people and is given by a drip.

"He does not have aplastic anaemia and his haemoglobin and WBC count (white blood cells) are normal. Platelets are low though," said the doctor.

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a disorder that can lead to excessive or easy bruising and bleeding from unusually low levels of platelets in the blood. Platelets help blood clot.

The disorder can cause purple bruises as well as tiny reddish-purple dots that look like a rash.

Meanwhile, Sharif's younger brother Shehbaz Sharif filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court seeking bail for the former prime minister on medical grounds.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday expressed concern over Sharif’s deteriorating health.

Khan said that political differences aside, his sincerest prayers are with the PML-N leader and has ensured that the former prime minister receives the “best possible healthcare and medical treatment”.

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