Gabrielle Giffords Off Ventilator for First Time
Doctors replace breathing tube with tracheotomy tube
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2011 4:48 PM CST
Tom LaCorte, right, and his wife Ana LaCorte, with their son Tommy LaCorte, at the Tucson Safeway that reopened for business today.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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(Newser) – Another milestone for Gabrielle Giffords: Doctors today took her off a ventilator for the first time since last week's shooting, reports CNN. They removed her breathing tube—she was breathing on her own all along, but it had been left in as a precaution—and replaced it with a tracheotomy tube to help her breathe better. Doctors also gave her a feeding tube, which they described as a common procedure in such cases, notes AP. She remains in critical condition but her recovery "continues as planned," said a hospital statement.