CAIRO - Doctors used a defibrillator twice on Hosni Mubarak when they could not find a pulse Monday, the latest health crisis for the ousted Egyptian president since he was sentenced to life and moved to a prison hospital nine days ago, security officials said.
The officials said Mubarak, 84, was slipping in and out of consciousness and was being fed liquids intravenously. Mubarak also lost consciousness several times Sunday and officials have said he is suffering from high blood pressure, depression, and breathing difficulties.
Mubarak’s health scare adds one more layer to Egypt’s turbulent political scene with a runoff vote to choose his successor days away. His death would bring down the curtain on a chapter of Egypt’s history that has divided this mainly Muslim nation of 85 million people.
His 29 years in power are the second longest by any Egyptian ruler since the 19th century, when the Ottoman general Mohammed Ali ruled the country for about 44 years, ending with his death in 1849.
More than a year after a popular uprising swept him from office, Mubarak’s legacy lives on. The last prime minister to serve under him will go head-to-head in the June 16-17 election against a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalist group that Mubarak spent most of his years in power trying to contain.
The candidacy of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, like Mubarak a career air force officer, is widely seen as an attempt by the old regime to hang on to power in the face of the revolutionary groups that engineered the uprising and the Brotherhood, whose candidate is Mohammed Morsi, a US-trained engineer.