Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Demjanjuk's condition worsening

[150.png]Suspected guard in Nazi death camp hospitalized for second day in a row with chest pains, court session canceled. EKG exam rules out heart attack

John Demjanjuk's family and attorney told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the 90-year-old's medical condition appears to be worsening as his trial in Germany drags on, as he was hospitalized for a second day in a row with dangerously low blood hemoglobin levels.

Demjanjuk, a former Ohio autoworker who is being tried on 27,900 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he was a guard at the Nazi's Sobibor death camp, was taken to a Munich university clinic Tuesday after complaining of chest pains, forcing that day's court session to be canceled.

Though an EKG exam indicated that Demjanjuk had not suffered a heart attack, doctors said his hemoglobin level was down to a reading of 8 - with normal levels being about 14 to 18 - and that he needed to remain in the hospital, presiding Judge Ralph Alt reported as he called Wednesday's session off, as well.

Alt said doctors had told him that Demjanjuk had received a transfusion and was expected to be able to return to the courtroom Thursday.

But defense attorney Ulrich Busch said a clinic doctor had told him that Demjanjuk should remain in the hospital for several more days for observation.

Demjanjuk suffers from several medical problems but has been declared fit to face trial as long as court sessions are limited to two 90-minute sessions per day.

A doctor and paramedics have been on hand at every court session to monitor his condition, and since the trial began Nov. 30 at least a half dozen sessions have been canceled due to Demjanjuk's medical issues.

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