Posted on January 8, 2011 · Posted in Brain Injury

Arizona’s Gabby Giffords Brain Injury from Gunshot

The next few days will be crucial for Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the head Saturday by a gunman who also killed six people, including a judge and a 9-year-old, outside a supermarket in Tucson. We will have to wait to see how much brain trauma she sustained.,0,5733898,full.story

Giffords, a 40-year-old Democrat, was conducting a meet-and-greet with constituents when she was felled by a suspect identified as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. A second suspect is being sought.  At least a dozen people were injured in the shooting at a Safeway, with the fatalities including U.S. District Court Judge John Roll.

A team of neurosurgeons performed surgery on Giffords at the University Medical Center in Tuscon Saturday, and her spokesman said that afterward the congresswoman had been responsive to some commands from physicians, according to The Los Angeles Times.

That’s a good sign, but obviously only a preliminary one that doesn’t guarantee much in terms of Giffords’ recovery.

That spokesman, Mark Kimble, said, “The next three days are going to be very critical as far as swelling of the brain.”

The New York Times quoted Dr. Peter Rhee, who is medical director of the medical center’s trauma and critical care unit, who said that Giffords had been shot “through and through,” with her assailant’s bullet traveling through her brain, and then apparently exiting.

The Los Angeles Times quoted a trauma neurosurgeon as saying it isn’t unusual for victims to survive gunshot wounds to the head. They may survive, but I doubt they live a charmed life afterward. We don’t hear about the consequences of their wounds to their brain and behavior.

Hopefully, Giffords will make a good recovery from her brain injuries.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447