UMC doctors: Rep. Giffords communicates with simple commands - Tucson News Now

UMC doctors: Rep. Giffords communicates with simple commands

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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Rep. Giffords was able to communicate Sunday morning with doctors using "simple commands," University of Medical Center doctors said.

Doctors Michael Lemole  and Peter Rheel held a press conference from UMC Sunday morning to update the public on the survivors status.

All the victims except for Rep. Giffords have been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit, the doctors said. 

Eleven patients were brought to UMC. First was 9-year-old Christina Green, who was declared dead after efforts to resuscitate failed.

Five patients arrived in serious condition, five arrived in critical condition. Six needed surgery, the doctors said.

The first patient was rushed from the scene of the shooting to UMC in less than 40 minutes.

Surgeons said Rep. Giffords' "simple commands" imply high level brain function. She remains in a medically-induced coma to mitigate swelling.

The bullet passed through Rep. Giffords left side of the brain from the front to the back, Doctor Lemole said.

The path of the bullet did not cross over to the right hemisphere of the brain, limiting trauma, surgeons said.

The doctors added that speculating on her recovery is not "productive" as it could take years.

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