Crime

Gabrielle Giffords' Condition Upgraded to Serious

Doctors treating Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced last night that the congresswoman's condition has been updated from critical to serious following a procedure Saturday morning.

According to an update from the University Medical Center, where Giffords is being treated, doctors performed a procedure that removed the breathing tube from the congresswoman and replaced it with a tracheotomy tube, a common procedure used on patients with brain injuries, the update says.

The procedure, the hospital says, will help doctors evaluate whether Giffords can speak.

Doctors said yesterday that Giffords has been breathing on her own for several days, but the breathing tube was left in place as a precaution to prevent fluid from building in her lungs, which could potentially cause pneumonia.

The congresswoman being taken off of the ventilator is what led to the upgrade in status.

The hospital says more information will be released at a news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today. Check back to Valley Fever for updates.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King