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.

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