Friday, January 14, 2011
It is good to know that something good has come out of Bush's Wars...
Brain swelling is now the biggest threat to Congresswoman Giffords.
When a person is shot in the head doctors can do little to repair the primary injury which is the damage caused by the bullet.
The secondary injury is caused by the subsequent swelling of the brain which can be treated.
"We'll protect the brain with an artificial layer and then close the scalp over and put the skull back when the brain has relaxed." Dr Michael Lemole
Doctors say experience from a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped their understanding of gunshot wounds to the head.
Dr Rhee said: "When the brain swells, it's like when you sprain your knee and the fluid accumulates, it gets very tense and there's a tremendous amount of pain.
"The brain will go though the same situation except when it gets tense the blood flow to the neurons and brain cells get compromised."
Part of Ms Giffords' skull has been removed so her brain can swell without being constrained.
It is being preserved in hospital and will be re-implanted at a later date.
Dr Michael Lemole operated on Ms Giffords: "We'll protect the brain with an artificial layer and then close the scalp over it and put the skull back when the brain has relaxed sufficiently.
"That may take several months but each case is individual."
One of the doctors treating Gabrielle Giffords tells Channel 4 News she is 100 per cent certain to survive. Dr Peter Rhee says he is also optimistic she will not be in a vegetative state.