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President had blood test, but won’t say what it was for

/ 07:19 AM December 07, 2018
Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte. (INQUIRER.net file photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday admitted he had blood extracted from him for a medical test.

In a speech in Pasay City on Thursday, the President showed his arm, which was covered by a small round dressing.

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“I had a blood extraction. The media would then ask what is my illness,” he said during the 85th anniversary of the Department of Labor and Employment.

He jested that the medical personnel who drew blood from him had a little difficulty because they initially drew air.

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“When they inserted the syringe to get my blood, nothing would come up, all air,” the President said.

He did not disclose what the blood test was for, but presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President underwent a “regular blood test.”

“That’s a regular blood test,” he said, adding that there was nothing to worry about.

Chemistry panels

Mr. Duterte’s longtime aide, Bong Go, also said his former boss underwent a regular blood chemistry test earlier that day.

Blood chemistry tests, or chemistry panels, are common diagnostic tests performed to detect and diagnose illnesses. These also show how well organs are functioning and if there are abnormalities.

The 73-year-old President’s health has been a source of public concern, following his revelation that he underwent diagnostic exams in October to study a growth in his digestive tract.

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No regular bulletins

Mr. Duterte has previously admitted that he suffers from back pains, migraines, Buerger’s disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth, and Barrett’s esophagus, a complication of acid reflux.

Malacañang, however, has dismissed the possibility of issuing regular bulletins on the President’s health, maintaining that he is healthy and fit to lead the country.

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