Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee is in stable condition after emergency heart surgery on Sunday, the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul said Monday. It remains to be seen whether he sustained any brain damage after a heart attack on Saturday night and whether his heart will fully recover.
As his blood pressure stabilized, he was taken off mechanical ventilation on Monday, the center added. After hypothermia treatment, Lee is in an intensive care unit.
It will take at least a month to determine whether his brain functions normally even if he regains consciousness, doctors say. Any minor damage to the brain, particularly the frontal lobes, can affect higher-level cognitive functions like judgment.
A Samsung spokesman said the group's day-to-day business will continue as usual despite Lee's hospitalization but executives remain on the alert for any emergency.
Lee's wife Hong Ra-hee as well as daughters Boo-jin and Seo-hyun are with him at the hospital.