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John Murtha's condition is 'stable' and 'improving' as he battles infection in ICU, sources say

Updated 5:48 p.m.
By Carol D. Leonnig and Paul Kane
A day after his office announced he had been admitted to an Arlington hospital with gallbladder surgery complications, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the powerful chairman of the House military appropriations committee, remained in intensive care battling a serious infection, according to two Democratic sources.

Murtha, 77, was admitted to Virginia Hospital Center's intensive care unit after having his gallbladder removed at Bethesda Naval Hospital last week.

According to two Democratic sources familiar with his treatment, Murtha was in "grave" condition on Sunday, suffering from an infection that appeared to result from his surgery. By Wednesday, however, he appeared to be responding well to antibiotics, and his condition was improving.

Murtha suffered from gallbladder pain and problems in December and arranged to have a laparascopic surgery to remove it in January. But he began feeling ill after the surgery and was readmitted to a nearby hospital.

"The only update that our office can provide at this time is that Congressman Murtha's condition remains stable," Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said today. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), a Murtha ally, told reporters Wednesday that Democrats had spoken with the veteran lawmaker's family. "What we've heard is positive," said Larson, the No. 4 ranking member of Democratic leadership. "Mr. Murtha seems to be improving."

Patients who undergo gallbladder surgery can face significant tenderness and recovery issues, but serious complications are rare -- occurring in as few as 0.6 to 2.2 percent of cases.

One potential complication related to the kind of surgery that Murtha underwent results from accidental cutting of the common bile ducts. These nicks can lead to bile backing up in the blood stream and serious infections.

Such nicks and accidental cuts are more common in laparascopic surgery, in which the surgeon relies on video imaging to "see" the patient's gallbladder.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 3, 2010; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing , Cast of Characters  
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Comments

B Gram-negative. It killed my father 32 years ago.

Posted by: pwd2 | February 9, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Representative John P. Murtha: We in your district have been praying for your complete recovery; the news of your passing is simply incomprehensible to those of us who returned you to office again and again.
May you rest in peace.

Posted by: margarethbrown | February 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I want to say thank you to all the legal citizen's of America who are paying for John Murtha's health care even though half cannot afford to buy medical insurance themselves. God Bless America, aren't we generous paying for everyone's health care in our government? Here's hoping he gets well enough to thank us.

Posted by: peggydlhk | February 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

ARE THE SAME PEOPLE BEHIND VENAL BLOG POSTS DOING THIS...

Hoping that any Infragard/Citizen Corps/C.O.P.S. etc. health care infiltrators tending to Rep. Murtha are being eyeballed by some good people on the inside who know that political scores in this country are being settled by secretive and heinous federally-directed local vigilante domestic terrorism. Now read this:

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http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "GESTAPO USA."

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Posted by: ewyrtuyioetyerhytiu | February 3, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I pray for his recovery, but we've got to actually do something about term limits. This is the least of the reasons why.

Posted by: prossers7 | February 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank God he has good health care.......most of us do not. Here's hoping he recovers, as he is one who will fight for affordable health care for all (can i please request PUBLIC OPTION like most of the other industrialized nations in the world - WHY IS OUR HEALTH CARE THIRLD WORLD????)

Posted by: Patricia12 | February 3, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Looks like he's improving which is good! I never wish ill will on anyone.

Posted by: warhawk911 | February 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

really wish I could be as cold as Mr. Murtha and the democrates and say about Health care if it was one of us, and remarks about the brave men and women that fight for this country, but I can't. I wish you a complete recovery and many more years.

Posted by: marlnforamerica | February 3, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe one of the original surgeons didn't agree with Murtha's Politics ???

Just a little spit would do the trick during surgery !!!

Posted by: thgirbla | February 3, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Some Politicians will do anything to avoid a pending Ethics Panel Investigation !!!

When he gets out of ICU, will he be going a Cadillac Rehab. Joint in Hawaii ???

Too bad Mr. and Mrs. Citizen/Taxpayer/Voter don't have the same Cadillac HealthCare Coverage that is available to the Members of Congress !!! You know, the one that is being financed by Mr. and Mrs. Citizen/Taxpayer/Citizen !!!

Posted by: thgirbla | February 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that Murtha can be the next subject in the persistent vegetative state study. He will finally be making a useful contribution to society and the taxpayers will be relieved of having our money given to pork barrel projects and to his family and friends' corrupt contract deals.

Posted by: hisroc | February 3, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Hoping that any Infragard/Citizen Corps/C.O.P.S. etc. health care infiltrators tending to Rep. Murtha are being eyeballed by some good people on the inside who know that political scores in this country are being settled by secretive and heinous federally-directed local vigilante domestic terrorism. Now read this:

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http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "GESTAPO USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 3, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

..."Hang in there John...America pulling for you! Our Prayers our with you sir...

...Hang on...

Posted by: ztcb41 | February 3, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Congressman Murtha for a speedy recovery so Murtha can finally APOLOGIZE TO THOSE U.S. MARINES that he falsely accused of murder.

Posted by: screwjob11 | February 3, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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