In this March, 2010 photo provided by the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords poses for a photo. Giffords was critically wounded during a shooting at a political event Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) (AP)

Giffords' condition upgraded to serious

A week and a day after the attack, Giffords is breathing on her own, moving her arms and has opened her eyes

January 17, 2011 4:17AM (UTC)

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords condition is improving and she is now in serious condition at a hospital after being shot in the head about a week ago.

The University of Arizona said in a news release Sunday that the congresswoman is continuing to do well. The release says her condition changed from critical to serious because she is no longer on a ventilator. She is breathing on her own.


The update comes about 24 hours after doctors replaced Giffords' breathing tube with a different one.

Hospital officials say that Giffords underwent a procedure Saturday morning to have a tracheotomy tube inserted in her windpipe to protect her airways, freeing her from the ventilator. She had been breathing on her own since she was shot in the head Jan. 8, but doctors had left the tube in as a precaution.

Doctors also inserted a feeding tube to provide nutrition. These procedures are not out of the ordinary for brain-injured patients.


Giffords, who was wounded in last weekend's attack that killed six people, remains in critical condition.

Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, has remained by her bedside.

One patient was discharged Saturday while two others remain in good condition.



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