Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
University Medical Center (UMC) has announced that there will be a media briefing to update everyone about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ condition this morning– Sunday, January 9, 2011– at 10 a.m. in Kiewitt Auditorium. Giffords was shot in the head– along with 18 other people– at a Safeway in northwest Tucson on Saturday, January 8 while she was meeting with constituents. She is in critical condition at UMC following surgery.
UPDATE from UMC press conference: The update released this morning from UMC is that Giffords remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit and is on a ventilator. The bullet went through her brain on the left side– which is better than it crossing through both hemispheres of the brain. A multi-surgeon team that conducted the 38-minute surgery on Saturday removed bone fragments and a small portion of her brain which had been damaged by the gunshot, along with pieces of her skull (in order to minimize brain swelling). She was responsive to simple verbal cues yesterday and today. The medical team is optimistic about her survival but will not comment on her future functioning.
Here is UMC’s update from Saturday.
Tucson, AZ – Peter Rhee, MD, MPH, medical director of University Medical Center’s Trauma and Critical Care, and professor of surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Surgery, spoke at a media briefing regarding U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and other patients who were admitted to the Level 1 trauma center.
UMC received 11 patients; five are in critical condition, five are in serious condition and a nine-year old child died.
UMC neurosurgeons completed the surgery on Representative Giffords, who was listed in critical condition following a single gunshot to the head. The congresswoman was recovering from surgery in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“I am as optimistic as I can be at this point about the congresswoman’s condition. We will watch her recovery during the next 24 hours and will know more,” said Dr. Rhee.
Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup said, “This is a grave tragedy for our community, the state of Arizona and our country.” He called this a time of prayer for the people who are fighting for their lives and their family members. He has instructed the chief of the Tucson Police Department to cooperate completely with the investigation that is under way led by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Roberto Villaseñor, Tucson chief of police, and Walkup asked the media to verify information with sources from University Medical Center and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, which has scheduled a media briefing for 6 p.m. today at Westward Look Resort in Tucson. Media are asked to verify the briefing time and location with the Pima County Sheriff Department.
Robert Shelton, PhD, president of the University of Arizona, acknowledged the work not only of the public safety officers, but also the staff of UMC, including Dr. Rhee and his entire team.