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Congresswoman raises 2 fingers, gives thumbs-up

Jan 10, 2011 9:34:00 PM - thestate.com
Doctors treating U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Monday the congresswoman was responding to verbal commands by raising two fingers of her left hand and even managed to give a thumbs-up.

Giffords, 40, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Tucson's University Medical Center after she was shot through the head Saturday during a meet-and-greet with voters outside a supermarket. Two patients were discharged Sunday night. Eight others, including Giffords, remained hospitalized.

Recent CAT scans showed no further swelling in the brain, but doctors were guarded.

"We're not out of the woods yet," said her neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole. "That swelling can sometimes take three days or five days to maximize. But every day that goes by and we don't see an increase, we're slightly more optimistic."

After Saturday's operation to temporarily remove half of her skull, doctors over the past two days had Giffords removed from her sedation and then asked basic commands such as: "Show me two fingers."

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