Doctor: Scalise Was At ‘Imminent Risk Of Death’ After Being Shot

Doctor Scalise Was At Imminent Risk Of Death After Being Shot

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was at “imminent risk of death” Wednesday after being shot during practice for a congressional baseball game, his doctor said Friday.

Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said Scalise has vastly improved since he was brought in after being shot through the pelvis Wednesday.

“The congressman’s status remains critical. We are encouraged by improvement in his condition over the last 36 hours. We have controlled the internal bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized,” Sava said.

Although Sava said Scalise could face weeks in the hospital, he said that was a far more upbeat outlook than when Scalise was admitted.

“When he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death,” Sava said.

“The round fragmented and did substantial damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels. I understand he was awake on scene, but by the time he was transported by helicopter to the MedStar Trauma Center he was in shock,” he said.

The round that wounded Scalise left behind hundreds of bullet fragments that will not likely be removed, Sava said.

“I feel a lot more confident and a lot more optimistic than I did two, three days ago,” Sava said. “We fully expect him to be able to walk … hopefully, run.”

Scalise has been sedated, Sava said, but doctors have been able to reduce the level of sedation to allow him to communicate with his family.

On Friday, a hospital statement said Scalise “underwent a second surgery related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg.”

If there was no nerve damage and Scalise has no complications, “it is possible that within three months or so, he can … be back on his feet,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

President Donald Trump said Friday that Scalise “took a bullet for all of us.”

“Because of him and the tremendous pain and suffering he’s now enduring — and he’s having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought — our country will perhaps become closer, more unified, so important,” Trump said. “So we all owe Steve a big, big thank you.”

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