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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UPDATED: Doctors say no change in Giffords is a good sign

    Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to follow simple commands and according to Dr. Michael Lemole, UMC chief of neurosurgery, the longer there is no change the more optimistic they become.

    The biggest threat to Giffords is brain swelling which; usually peaks around day three but can still occur even after 10 days, according to Lemole.

    Giffords is on post operating day two.

    The most recent CAT scans do not show any progression of the brain swelling, which doctors take as a good sign.

    The simple commands Giffords is able to perform are things such as showing a thumb, gripping a hand and wiggling toes.

    “”It implies that not only are those centers of the brain working but they are communicating with one another,”” Lemole said.

    UMC has discharged two patients. Of the remaining eight, one is in critical condition, five are in serious condition and two are in good/fair condition.

    UMC will be focusing on supporting patients  emotionally as well as physically.

    “”Some of these people who had severe torso type injures their social being is also injured as well as some of their family members are deceased and they are going to go through the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) phase at this time,”” said Dr. Peter Rhee, UMC trauma and medical director.

    “”We got to bring them back as a whole human being and that is what we try to concentrate on in the trauma center, more than just whether you are alive or dead.””

    Many of the patients will need additional surgeries.

    Doctors were moved by the support from the Tucson community.

    “”I’m proud to be a citizen of Tucson with the amount of care and thoughts that have been coming forward,”” Rhee said.

    Lemole said he was “”personally touched”” by the outpouring from the Tucson community and his wife brought their children by the memorial.

    “”Really the looks on the children’s faces said it all. It really spoke to the way the community has come together and the pain it is feeling but the way it is trying to heal,”” Lemole said

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