Heart attack hospitalizes Samsung chairmanSamsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee is recovering at Samsung Medical Center after suffering a heart attack on Saturday, according to the hospital in southern Seoul.
Samsung Group said the 72-year-old chairman was in “stable” condition.
Lee was taken to nearby Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, on Saturday night after he had difficulty breathing at his Hannam-dong home, Samsung Group officials said.
The chiarman developed heart attack symptoms upon arriving at the Yongsan District hospital and received CPR before being stabilized, they said.
He was transferred to Samsung Medical Center in Irwon-dong early yesterday, where he was diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction and underwent surgery to place a stent in a coronary artery to maintain the flow of blood to his heart.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, was performed on him at Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital, according to Samsung Medical Center. ECMO is a technique used to supply oxygen to patients with severely damaged hearts.
Lee was admitted to Samsung Medical Center for 10 days in August last year with pneumonia symptoms. In the late 1990s, he was treated for lung cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and since then has been receiving medical checkups on a regular basis. Following the recommendation of doctors, Lee has spent the past several winters in warm climates. He returned to Korea on April 17 after being overseas for about three months.
Samsung Medical Center was positive about his recovery, saying ECMO would be terminated soon.
“Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital did quite well in the early emergency treatment, and the surgery performed at Samsung Medical Center was also successful,” said the hospital, adding that Lee is unlikely to have suffered any brain damage.
It did not say how long the chairman would be hospitalized.
Lee’s son and heir-apparent, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, cut short a business trip to the United States after hearing the news of his father and visited him at Samsung Medical Center yesterday, according to the group.
It is unclear whether Lee’s heart attack will accelerate the ongoing reshuffle at the country’s largest business group. Several mergers and sales between affiliates were observed as the group ushered in another 20-year cycle of the much-touted 1993 New Management initiative with the new catchphrase, Mach Management.
BY MOON GWANG-LIP [email@example.com]