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In recent weeks, both MI6 and the CIA have established that bin Laden has received from China a portable kidney dialysis machine. But it requires electricity to power it.
Drones, unmanned aircraft that US Special Forces launched from Afghanistan last week, have reported that the area along the border has lost all its power supplies
Pakistan's president says he thinks Osama bin Laden is most likely dead because the suspected terrorist has been unable to get treatment for his kidney disease.
[A Bush administration official] said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and "it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout." [CNN]
..> ..> Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Bin Laden would need help if on dialysis
Renal dialysis -- talking about hemodialysis -- is something that really is reserved for patients in end-stage renal failure. That means their kidneys have just completely shut down.
The most common cause of something like that would be something like diabetes and hypertension. Once that's happened, if you're separated from your dialysis machine -- and incidentally, dialysis machines require electricity, they're going to require clean water, they're going to require a sterile setting -- infection is a huge risk with that. If you don't have all those things and a functioning dialysis machine, it's unlikely that you'd survive beyond several days or a week at the most. [CNN]