Veterans Memorial head confirms Arroyo’s ‘choking sensation’

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08:39 PM May 11th, 2012

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May 11th, 2012 08:39 PM

CHOKING Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leaves Makati Medical Center after a checkup on Thursday. RICHARD REYES

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is experiencing choking sensations and its cause was seen in a Quantum Electrochemistry Examination the previous day, the head of the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Nona Legaspi, confirmed Friday.

“At the onset I confirm a positive yield during the examination, based on the report of our medical team who observed the procedure, but it was a wet [initial] reading and we are still waiting for the official written medical report from Dr Robert Anastacio,” Legaspi told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview.

The government doctor, however, declined to issue an official statement on what sources close to Arroyo had described as a “life-threatening condition of the former president.”

“We are waiting for the medical report and… the prognosis to study them and to come out with our own assessment,” Legaspi said.

She added that despite new findings on the medical condition of the former chief executive, no added medication has been administered to Arroyo.

“No added medication, but she was advised to wear always the neck brace,” she said.

She said also that Arroyo has not made any request since her trip to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday for the test.

She added that in case the choking episodes of GMA get worse and require immediate attention, the hospital’s doctors could attend to her initial needs.

“The presidential suite where she is staying is very near the emergency room and we have capable doctors who could perform tracheostomy,” Legaspi said, referring to surgical formation of an opening into the tracheo through the skin to enable a patient to breathe.

A source close to the Arroyo family said Thursday that the test conducted on the former president showed that the titanium implants around her neck spine were “protruding” or pressing against the esophagus, causing the choking sensation.

Legaspi confirmed this but would venture no explanation for why the implant was pressing against the esophagus.

She said that as she received the medical report of Anastacio, doctors at Veterans Memorial would study it and submit their own recommendation to higher authorities.

“We will make an official announcement based on our assessment of the examination and will make a proper recommendation,” Legaspi said.

She also disclosed that Anastacio, a cardiologist, was the personal choice of Arroyo to conduct the Quantum Electrochemistry Examination on her.

She described Quantum Electrochemistry Examination as a modern diagnostic tool, “the future medicine because of its efficiency in detecting even the tiniest molecules.”

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