Giffords Taken Off Ventilator

Posted January 15, 2011 at 3:48pm

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has been removed from the ventilator that she had been on since being shot one week ago. Doctors also replaced her breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube, according to reports by various media outlets based on an update from the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.

Giffords, who has been breathing on her own for several days, underwent the procedure Saturday morning. Doctors also inserted a feeding tube in order to give the 40-year-old Congresswoman some nutrition.

One of the victims of last Saturday’s shooting rampage was discharged from the hospital Saturday, according to the Associated Press, while two others remain in good condition. Giffords is still listed in critical condition after being shot in the head at point blank range.

The attack by alleged gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and injured 13, not 14, as had been originally reported. The local sheriff’s office attributed the decrease on Friday to the initial confusion surrounding the shooting.

Also on Saturday, the Tucson Safeway store, which was the scene of last weekend’s incident, reopened for business.