Photo: Gabrielle Giffords
One of the doctors treating Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says there was no change in her condition overnight. Dr. Michael Lemole with the University of Arizona was interviewed Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show. When asked about swelling in her brain on the third day, which is when it often reaches its peak, Lemole said a CAT scan early Tuesday showed no increase in swelling.
The survival statistics for gun shot victims is not good. In fact, 90% of gunshot wounds to the head result in death, 2/3 of the time before the victim ever reaches the hospital.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords survival is credited to where the bullet entered her head.
The bullet entered from the back-left portion of the brain and exited through the front-left portion, missing many of the brain’s critical structures as well as some major blood vessels. “These critical structures were miraculously spared,” said Jennifer Ashton M.D., medical correspondent for CBS News. Had the bullet crossed from the left to the right side of the brain, the outcome likely would have been very different.
Doctors are encouraged by Gifford’s’ response to simple commands, such as showing her two fingers when asked to do so. Still, the Congresswoman could face serious challenges regarding her ability to speak in the future, said Ashton. “Interpreting speech and being able to speak could potentially be effected by an injury on the left side of the brain.”