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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Update: Pope's doctors consider operation

As I've said before, His Holiness is one tough hombre, but he's not doing so hot:
Pope John Paul II was expected to undergo a tracheotomy today to help his breathing, according to Italian news agencies. The news agencies ANSA and Apcom said doctors would perform a tracheotomy — a procedure in which a hole is made in the throat and a tube is inserted, Associated Press reported.
All we can do is pray. UPDATE: Some medical experts are saying the pope may have bacterial pneumonia:
"It appears the pope is suffering from pneumonia, likely a bacterial pneumonia, a serious problem for a man of his age with Parkinson's," said Dr Barbara Paris, chairwoman of geriatrics and vice-chairwoman of Medicine at Maimonides Medical Centre in New York.
UPDATE: The half-hour surgery has been completed:
AGI said surgeons at Rome's Gemelli hospital had performed a tracheotomy on the Pontiff, cutting a small opening into his neck and windpipe to allow air to flow directly into the lungs. It said the operation lasted 30 minutes, without citing any sources. There was no immediate comment from the Vatican but Church officials said a statement was due shortly.
UPDATE: The pope's surgery was successful:
The Vatican issued a statement saying doctors at the Gemelli Polyclinic operated successfully on the pope after he gave his consent and that he will spend the night in his own room and not in intensive care. The procedure, in which a hole is made in the throat and a tube is inserted, was performed to help the pontiff with his breathing. It is not seen as threatening and usually is left in for two or three days. The Vatican said the pope's tracheotomy took 30 minutes and was finished "in a positive way."

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