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Tucson, AZ - Doctors: Congresswoman Gives Thumbs-Up

Published on: January 10, 2011 05:08 PM
By: AP
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Dr. Peter Rhee, right, speaks about the condition of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., as Dr. G. Michael Lemole, Jr., looks on at University Medical Center during a news conference in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 10, 2011. Giffords was shot in the head the Saturday during a speech at a local supermarket. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)Dr. Peter Rhee, right, speaks about the condition of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., as Dr. G. Michael Lemole, Jr., looks on at University Medical Center during a news conference in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 10, 2011. Giffords was shot in the head the Saturday during a speech at a local supermarket. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Tucson, AZ - Doctors treating Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ brain wound said Monday the congresswoman was responding to verbal commands by raising two fingers of her left hand and even managed to give a thumbs-up.

Giffords, 40, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Tucson’s University Medical Center after she was shot through the head Saturday during a meet-and-greet with voters outside a supermarket. Two patients were discharged Sunday night. Eight others, including Giffords, remained hospitalized.

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Recent CAT scans showed no further swelling in the brain, but doctors were guarded.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said her neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole. “That swelling can sometimes take three days or five days to maximize. But every day that goes by and we don’t see an increase, we’re slightly more optimistic.”

After Saturday’s operation to temporarily remove half of her skull, doctors over the past two days had Giffords removed from her sedation and then asked basic commands such as: “Show me two fingers.”

“When she did that, we were having a party in there,” said Dr. Peter Rhee. “That’s a purposeful movement. That’s a great thing. She’s always grabbing for the tube.”

Giffords family is by her side and is receiving constant updates from doctors. On Monday, two well-known doctors with extensive experience in traumatic brain injury were en route to Tucson to help consult on Giffords’ case.

Doctors had said the bullet traveled the length of the left side of the congresswoman’s brain, entering the back of the skull and exiting the front. Her doctors have declined to speculate on what specific disabilities Giffords may face as her recovery progresses.

As for the other shooting victims who suffered injuries to the face, neck, stomach and other parts of the body, doctors said most will have a normal recovery. To ensure that they don’t suffer post-traumatic stress, depression or other problems, teams of experts will guide them through the next phase.


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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2011 at 05:46 PM toolee Says:

I might be orthodox but GG is in my prayers.

2

 Jan 10, 2011 at 06:20 PM Ben58 Says:

Reply to #1  
toolee Says:

I might be orthodox but GG is in my prayers.

What r u implying, that orthodox jews dont care? Sounds like somones self hating.

3

 Jan 10, 2011 at 06:44 PM charliehall Says:

I would pray for a Congresswoman who is the victim of an assassination attempt no matter what her religion, ethnicity, or politics.

4

 Jan 10, 2011 at 07:43 PM iib001 Says:

Reply to #3  
charliehall Says:

I would pray for a Congresswoman who is the victim of an assassination attempt no matter what her religion, ethnicity, or politics.

100% right, not sure what #1 was wrting

5

 Jan 10, 2011 at 08:09 PM FranZ Says:

What difference what she is? We all pray for her recovery.

6

 Jan 11, 2011 at 12:02 AM Fullabulla Says:

I've read on several news sites that Congresswoman Giffords is a related to Gwyneth Paltrow as their fathers are first cousins.

Gwyneth Paltrow's dad, Bruce Paltrow is ben acher ben from the Turei Zahv (Taz).

Is Giffords also an ainicle from the Taz??

7

 Jan 11, 2011 at 08:22 AM Anonymous Says:

It is despicable to observe interviews by media outlets with various neurosurgeons (who have never even examined the Congresswoman), but have speculated as to the extent of the Congresswoman's recovery, and what disabilities she may or may not have in the future. Some of the questions from the news media regarding the future health of Congresswoman Gifford are atrocious. I'm referring to questions such as:
a) Does she have any movement in her legs?
b) Can she see, or will she have vision problems?
c) Will she be able to walk or speak normally?
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the media outlets bribe the nurses to get the inside "scoop" on the prognosis of the Congresswoman. The violation of someone's medical privacy is an abomination!

8

 Jan 11, 2011 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

It is despicable to observe interviews by media outlets with various neurosurgeons (who have never even examined the Congresswoman), but have speculated as to the extent of the Congresswoman's recovery, and what disabilities she may or may not have in the future. Some of the questions from the news media regarding the future health of Congresswoman Gifford are atrocious. I'm referring to questions such as:
a) Does she have any movement in her legs?
b) Can she see, or will she have vision problems?
c) Will she be able to walk or speak normally?
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the media outlets bribe the nurses to get the inside "scoop" on the prognosis of the Congresswoman. The violation of someone's medical privacy is an abomination!

It is illegal, as you must know, to tell any medical information to someone outside of the healthcare team. A nurse cannot technically even say that she treats someone. This can include seeing someone on the street, saying hi/whats new, and then being asked "how do you know that person". you can't say "oh, from the clinic...".A problem when a psychiatrist goes to a chasunah.... how do you know the couple? uh, better only go if you know them from somewhere else as well (besides being their doctor).
A word to the wise- if people know you are a doctor, psychologist, nurse ect- you may not be able to say hi first to a patient, they must acknowledge they know you first!
FYI to all people in the medical profession- be careful or your patients can sue you for lots of money.

9

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