Madiba 'wouldn't have suffered much harm'

Medical experts say Madiba had a fully equipped team and wouldn't have suffered too much harm.

Nelson Mandela at his homestead in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, two days before his 94th birthday. Picture: Lyoness.TV.

JOHANNESBURG - Medical experts have told Eyewitness News that despite former President Nelson Mandela's ambulance breaking down on the way to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria earlier this month, the fact that he had a fully equipped team means he wouldn't have suffered too much harm.

Mandela was admitted to hospital for a recurring lung infection.

American broadcaster CBS on Saturday Madiba's military ambulance had engine problems and was forced to stop.

It is understood that he waited for up to 40 minutes before another vehicle could continue the journey.

This has prompted questions over whether the 94-year-old's health was compromised by the unforeseen glitch.

Sunninghill Hospital cardiologist Doctor Eric Klug says that as long as Madiba received full attention from his medical team while waiting for another ambulance to transport him, his health would not have been seriously compromised.

"Most paramedics are very well trained and they can deal with both protecting the airway, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and administering drugs."

A Netcare heart specialist agreed.

"There should have been no major affect there."

But the American broadcaster is also reporting that Madiba has been unresponsive and that his liver and kidneys are functioning at 50 percent.

The Presidency has denied that Mandela's health was compromised saying Madiba remains in a serious by stable condition.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) says the Presidency has been consistent in keeping South Africa and the world informed of the health condition of Nelson Mandela.