Just a bit over a month ago the Royal Household Bureau reported that His Majesty King Bhumibol was receiving treatment for acute kidney failure. In another update on the monarch’s frail health on Sunday, the palace said that the beloved 88-year-old king was in an “unstable” condition with low blood pressure after being treated with hemodialysis, perhaps conceding for the first time that the king’s health had worsened.
At 8 p.m. Wednesday the royal palace issued another update on the world’s longest reigning monarch’s health, saying that his condition had “overall not yet stabilised” and that doctors continued to “closely monitor” his condition.
The announcement came as hundreds of well-wishers and members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and his sisters, had gathered at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital where the ailing king has been staying for much of the last seven years. His Royal Highness Vajiralongkorn had arrived in Bangkok from Munich only earlier in the day.
The fact that a number of state events involving members of the royal family were cancelled until the end of this month and prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha cancelled a visit to the provinces Wednesday afternoon and flew back to Bangkok by helicopter, reportedly to greet the prince, contributed to serious concern about the king’s deteriorating health.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand fell 6.9%, although it later recovered to close down about 2.5%. False rumours spread on social networking sites also had it that the junta chairman would address the nation in a televised address at 4 p.m. A government spokesman later clarified that no urgent announcement had been scheduled.
By late afternoon, hundreds of people had gathered outside Siriraj Hospital to join mass Buddhist prayers for the king’s health to improve. By early Wednesday evening, all royal children had also gathered at the hospital. They appeared to have left in motorcades just before 8 p.m. when the Royal Household Bureau issued another update on the ailing monarch’s health.
According to the latest statement, the king’s blood pressure had dropped, his pulse had quickened and his liver was not functioning properly. The Bangkok Post summarizes the statement as follows:
The results of a blood test showed inflammation and abnormal functioning of the liver, so royal doctors prescribed antibiotics to treat the inflammation and took steps to reduce acidity in the blood.
The royal doctors also used drugs to control his blood pressure, employed a ventilator and performed continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).
According to the statement, His Majesty’s general condition is not stable and royal doctors continue to closely monitor his condition.
Let us join the people of Thailand in praying for His Majesty’s speedy recovery.