Friday, February 25, 2005
Mr Navarro-Valls told a news conference that a 30-minute operation to insert a tube into the Pope's throat to ease his breathing problems - apparently brought on by flu - had been successful, and was not an emergency or urgent procedure.
The pontiff has been advised not to speak for a few days, and may require a long hospital stay. "Upon the advice of his doctors, the Pope must not speak for several days, so as to favour the recovery of the functions of the larynx," Mr Navarro-Valls said.
He added that there had been no signs of any lung infections such as pneumonia, and that there was not a problem with the Pope's heart.
The indications for a tracheostomy are:
* prolonged intubation during the course of a critical illness
* subglottic stenosis from prior trauma
* obstruction from obesity for sleep apnea
* congenital (inherited) abnormality of the larynx or trachea
* severe neck or mouth injuries
* inhalation of corrosive material smoke or steam
* presence of a large foreign body that occludes the airway
* paralysis of the muscles that affect swallowing causing a danger of aspiration
* long term unconsciousness or coma
They say he has no infection, isn't on a ventilator and is awake and joking. There's no reason to believe he had an injury or inhaled corrosive material. He doesn't have the body habitus for severe sleep apnea. He could have a severe throat infection that required a tracheostomy, or a tumor. But the most likely diagnosis is that his Parkinson's disease is affecting his ability to swallow without aspirating. Don't blame this one on the flu.
posted by Sydney on 2/25/2005 08:25:00 AM 0 comments