FG on way out of ICU at St. Lukes in Taguig City

March 29, 2010 11:34 pm 

MANILA, March 29 –After suffering a new tear in a major blood vessel connected to the heart last week, First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo is now on way out of the “critical period”, the doctors from St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City said on Monday.

“We expect to transfer him to a regular room tomorrow (Tuesday) and continue with his progressive physical rehabilitation,” the First Gentleman’s chief attending physician, Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, told members of the media during a medical briefing at 11 a.m. Monday in Taguig City.

According to Cervantes, Mr. Arroyo has shown no signs or symptoms that the re-dissection (new tear) of the thoracic aorta that the patient suffered is still progressing. “Wala na siya sa critical period, he is stable (He is out of the critical period).”

“Overall we are satisfied with the clinical progress of the Gentleman, Mike Arroyo,” she said.

Mr. Arroyo, 63, who was admitted to the new medical facility at the Global City in Fort Bonifacio on Thursday morning, is also on his way out of the intensive care unit (ICU) after responding well to medication.

As for what caused the tear in the first place, Dr. Rommel Cariño, Mr. Arroyo’s cardiovascular surgeon, said that the latter’s aorta was “very weak.” The aorta is the largest artery in the body which helps the heart pump blood to different parts of the body.

“Sixty to seventy percent of the circumference of the whole aorta is already torn and we have to conduct CT scan every six or three months to see if there are new tears,” Cariño said

Cariño, however, said that the latest tear, which caused Mr. Arroyo’s hospitalization, was “very small, only two millimeters long” and does not qualify as an aneurysm.

“He (Mr. Arroyo) must not get tired in doing strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects, or even forceful coughing, could easily result to new tears," Cariño said.

The main concern of the team of doctors looking after Mr. Arroyo was the persistent lower back pains the patient has been experiencing. “Progressive physical rehabilitation” is the key, they said.

“We have him sit up on his bed more often and there must be more movement from hereon,” said another doctor, Dr. Garry Lopez.

Even President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who in the past few days has been “working” at the hospital via a makeshift office, moonlights as her spouse’s physical therapist.

“This morning, the President was helping Mr. Arroyo walk around inside his room,” said Lopez.

So far only members of the First Family are allowed to personally see Mr. Arroyo, although well-wishers composed of former and current cabinet members have come and gone to St. Luke’s the past few days. (PNA)

RMA/CLTC

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