Doctors performed a tracheotomy on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday, inserting a breathing tube through a hole in her neck and removing her from a ventilator, hospital officials said.
It was the first time Giffords was removed from the ventilator since last Saturday, when she arrived at University Medical Center after a gunman shot her through the head.
Giffords, 40, remains the only patient in critical condition from the shooting that wounded 12 others. Six more victims were killed in the rampage.
One patient was discharged on Saturday, and two remain hospitalized in good condition.
A feeding tube also was inserted into Giffords, a practice not uncommon for patients in intensive care with brain injuries, the hospital said.
Victim makes death threat
A victim of last week’s Arizona shooting rampage was arrested Saturday and ordered to undergo a mental evaluation after threatening a Tea Party leader during the taping of a television show, police said.
James Eric Fuller, 63, who was shot in the knee on Jan. 8, objected to comments from Trent Humphries, leader of the conservative Tea Party political movement in Tucson, by allegedly yelling “you’re dead” at a town hall meeting.