Representative Gabrielle Giffords Medical Condition Upgraded to Serious

Gabrielle Giffords Representative Gabrielle Giffords Medical Condition Upgraded to Serious Photo

Gabrielle Giffords (zaffnews.com)

Chief Neurosurgeon, Dr. Gerald Michael Lemole Jr., spoke of  Representative Gabrielle Giffords condition at a press conference in the University Medical Center of Tucson.  Dr. Lemole told  reporters that Giffords is no longer in danger of dangerous swelling to her injured brain, but that she still faced the risk of serious complications, including infection. Ms. Giffords’s condition was no longer considered critical and was upgraded to serious.

Doctors successfully repaired her eye socket in surgery on Saturday. The procedure required a craniotomy which is like opening a window to the skull. Doctors also replaced the breathing tube in her mouth with one in her neck. They said the breathing tube would not allow her to speak because it did not allow air past her vocal cords.  Dr. Lemole noted he was happy to see that within a few hours of the surgery she was waking up and that over the weekend she returned to the baseline she was at prior to the surgery.

Doctors are no longer going to hold a daily conference until she leaves the hospital. They hope that Giffords will be soon ready for the next stage in her recovery which will be highlighted by Giffords being moved to a rehabilitation center.

Her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, a naval officer and astronaut, said in a television interview that Ms. Giffords had rubbed his back for 10 minutes, which doctors said was another positive sign.

“It does imply that she is interacting, perhaps, in a more familiar way with him,” said Dr. Lemole.

Dr. Randall Friese, associate medical director at the University Medical Center Trauma Center, and UA associate professor of surgery said that Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, has told him that she has been able to smile “occasionally.” While acknowledging that sometimes people see what they want see Friese said, “If he says she’s smiling, I buy it.”

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U.S. Congresswomen, Gabrielle Giffords

Vitals offers full profiles of the doctors that treated Gabrielle Giffords; reviving her and bringing her back from the brink of death.