1295124075 600 ap giffords 110111 Gabrielle Giffords Breathing On Her Own

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords no longer needs a respirator after doctors replaced her breathing tube with a different one.

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