BANGKOK, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The king of Thailand was hospitalized with blood flow to the left side of his heart reduced, his condition called unstable by palace officials.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, the world's longest-reigning monarch since his 1946 coronation, had a tube inserted into a kidney to promote hemodialysis, a fluid-draining tuber to his brain changed and was put on a breathing ventilator at Bangkok's Siriaj hospital, the Bureau of the Royal Household reported Sunday. It said the king's condition "remains unstable."
Rarely seen in public, he was hospitalized last month for a severe infection, reduced kidney function and fluid in a lung. The king is regarded as a balance of power in Thailand's volatile political arena.
Although he has often been hospitalized in recent years, the current hospital stay is the first time his doctors have formally requested that he relieved of royal duties. It has been suggested some responsibilities will be transferred to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 64, his heir.