A Russian hospital treating political opposition activist Alexei Navalny believes he fell into a coma because of low blood sugar levels caused by a metabolic disorder.
The hospital’s head doctor, Alexander Murakhovsky, said the most likely cause of Navalny’s condition was a disorder pertaining to his metabolism of carbohydrates, according to comments carried by state news agency TASS.
“Today we have some working diagnoses. The main one is … a metabolic disorder,” Murakhovsky said, adding that Navalny’s condition “may be caused by a sudden drop of blood sugar levels.”
Earlier in the day, the Omsk Health Ministry said that Navalny remains in a consistently serious condition. However, Murakhovsky said that his condition somewhat improved on Friday morning.
He added that Navalny is still unconscious and connected to a ventilator. Earlier on Friday, a medical jet that is expected to collect Navalny and transport him for further treatment to Berlin landed in Omsk.
Murakhovsky said that the Omsk hospital staff have held a consultation with specialists from the Burdenko Neurosurgical Centre and the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow regarding Navalny’s condition.
“(Navalny’s) condition, in any case, remains unstable. As for his transportation, I — and the consultation participants — believe that (transportation) is still premature.
“It is necessary to achieve complete stabilisation of the patient’s condition first. Only in that case, we can say that he can be delivered wherever his relatives want to,” the chief physician said.
When asked whether Russian doctors were planning to consult with specialists from the German Charite clinical centre in Berlin to which Navalny will reportedly be transferred, Murakhovsky said that specialists from the Burdenko and the Pirogov medical institutes could hardly be inferior to their German colleagues.
The chief physician added that the doctors would continue running tests to diagnose Navalny. “The analyses are still ongoing, they will still go on for about two days,” Murakhovsky told reporters.
Navalny was on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on Thursday when he became gravely ill. The airplane made an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was hospitalised and fell into a coma.
He has since been put on a ventilator. FBK believes that the politician was poisoned, most likely when he drank a cup of tea at the airport in Tomsk.
The hospital said that this was just one of the possible reasons behind Navalny’s sickness.