Emperor Hirohito, 87, received a new round of blood transfusions Sunday, and his vital signs rebounded from a brief deterioration that followed a meal of sweet arrowroot soup Saturday, palace officials said.
Palace spokesman Kenji Maeda said that the emperor was given an additional three-eighths of a pint of blood Sunday morning.Added to transfusions on Saturday, the frail monarch has now received about 10 pints since he became bedridden at the Imperial Palace for an intestinal disorder Sept. 19 - an amount greater than the entire blood supply in his body.
A Red Cross station wagon entered the palace gates later in the morning, indicating the emperor would receive yet more blood.
The palace said the emperor's heart and kidneys were functioning normally.
In an encouraging note, the spokesman said the emperor's fever had dropped to 98.2, its lowest level in six days.
Crown Prince Akihito, 54, heir to Japan's 2,600-year-old Chrysanthemum Throne, and other family members including his son Prince Aya, 22, were reported to be at the beside of the ailing monarch, who is being treated by a team of five court doctors in his second-floor bedroom at the palace.
Hirohito's condition briefly took a turn for the worse Saturday after he was fed five or six teaspoons of sweet arrowroot soup, his first solid food in nearly two weeks.
Hours later, the emperor suffered severe internal bleeding, and his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. He was given more than a pint of blood, boosting his blood pressure to a stable range, palace officials said.
The moated palace, which has been relatively calm in the past week as the emperor's condition appeared to stabilize, saw a rush of activity Saturday as Hirohito suffered his worst blood loss since a relapse from suspected abdominal cancer two weeks ago.