Saudi king needed help breathing due to lung infection - royal court

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 02, 2015 10:59 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz temporarily needed help to breath through a tube on Friday due to a lung infection, but the procedure was successful and his condition was now stable, the royal court said.

The elderly monarch was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Wednesday for medical tests, state media said, after he suffered what one source described as breathing difficulties.

"After the necessary medical tests by the medical team, it became apparent that there was a lung infection that required the insertion of a tube to aid with breathing on a temporary basis this evening," the royal court said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

The procedure had resulted in "stability and success," it added.

Markets keep a close eye on the health of the king of the world's top oil producer, a country that also has a huge influence over Muslims through its guardianship of Islam's holiest sites.

A Saudi source familiar with the affairs of the royal family said the king will most likely stay in hospital for another week.

King Abdullah, who took power in 2005 after the death of his half-brother King Fahd, is thought to be 91, although official accounts are unclear. He has undergone surgery in the past few years related to a herniated disc.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti and Lin Noueihed; Editing by Amena Bakr and Andrew Heavens)