Chairman’s recovery on track after heart attack

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Chairman’s recovery on track after heart attack

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s recovery from a heart attack is progressing, Samsung Medical Center said yesterday.

Early yesterday, an emergency device to administer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, was removed, Samsung Group said.

ECMO, which is used to supply oxygen to patients with severely damaged hearts, had been employed since the 72-year-old Lee was first treated Saturday night at Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital near his home. He was transferred to Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul early Sunday.

“His heart function has recovered, so we got rid of the ECMO at 8:30 a.m. today,” said Lee June, Samsung’s chief communications official, at a briefing. “Since then, he has been in stable condition.”

Lee was regaining normal body temperature and consciousness after doctors lowered his temperature to minimize any adverse effects from the surgery. Post-operative patients are induced to sleep for 48 hours, 24 hours under low temperatures and another 24 under high temperatures. Lee began the low-temperature treatment Sunday morning and is expected to regain consciousness by this morning, the communications official said.

Nothing out of the ordinary was visible at Samsung Group offices yesterday, with most executives of affiliates present, according to group officials. Jay Y. Lee, the chairman’s son and a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, attended a scheduled luncheon with company executives after visiting Samsung Medical Center early yesterday morning, they said.

BY CHOI JOON-HO AND MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]


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