Doctors: Trump's blood oxygen level dropped twice recently

Doctors: Trump's blood oxygen level dropped twice recently

Monday, October 05, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


BETHESDA, USA (AP) — President Donald Trump's blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days but he “has continued to improve” since then, the White House physician said Sunday, adding a new layer of confusion to the president's fight with COVID-19 even while suggesting he could be discharged from the hospital as early as Monday.

Trump's doctors, speaking on the steps of the military hospital where he was being treated for a third-consecutive day, again refused to answer key questions about his condition, including the timing of the president's second dip in oxygen, which they neglected to mention in multiple statements the day before, or whether lung scans showed any damage.

Pressed about the conflicting information he and the White House released the previous day, Navy Commander Dr Sean Conley acknowledged that he had tried to present a rosy description of the president's condition.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team, that the president, that his course of illness has had. Didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said. “And in doing so, came off like we're trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true. The fact of the matter is that he's doing really well.”

The briefing lasted just 10 minutes.

Before walking away, Conley said the president had a “high fever” and a blood oxygen level below 94 per cent on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday. He was evasive when asked whether Trump's level had dropped below 90 per cent: “We don't have any recordings here on that.”

The level currently stands at 98 per cent, Trump's medical team said.

Blood oxygen saturation is a key health marker for COVID-19 patients. A normal reading is between 95 and 100. A drop below 90 is concerning. People with the virus sometimes do not realise their oxygen levels are low.

Trump offered his own assessment of his status the night before in a video from his hospital suite, saying he was beginning to feel better and hoped to “be back soon”. And he was back on social media early Sunday morning, sharing a video of flag-waving supporters, most not wearing masks, gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The changing, and at times contradictory, accounts from the Trump Administration highlighted a credibility crisis for the White House at a crucial moment, with the president's health and the nation's leadership on the line. Moreover, the president's health represents a national security issue of paramount importance not only to the functions of the US Government but also to countries around the world, friendly and otherwise.

Trump's Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, pulled his attack ads off the air during Trump's hospitalisation, and on Sunday, he dispatched senior aides to deliver a largely friendly message.

“We are sincerely hoping that the president makes a very quick recovery, and we can see him back out on the campaign trail very soon,” Biden adviser Symone Sanders said on CNN's State of the Union.

She added: “This is a glaring reminder that the virus is real.”

Biden was at home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday with no plans for in-person campaigning or other public appearances. Having already tested negative, he is expected to release the results of a new coronavirus test later in the day, and the campaign has pledged to disclose those results and all other future test results for the 77-year-old candidate.

On Saturday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters outside the hospital, “We're still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery.” In an update Saturday night, Trump's chief doctor expressed cautious optimism but added that the president was “not yet out of the woods”.

On Sunday, Conley's assessment was more positive, even while he acknowledged for the first time a second sudden drop in Trump's blood oxygen level on Saturday.

Another member of the president's medical team, Dr Brian Garibaldi, said Trump on Sunday “has been up and around” and “feels well”.

“Our plan for today is to have him eat and drink, to be up out of bed as much as possible, to be mobile,” Garibaldi said. “And if he continues to look and feel as well as he does today, our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course.”

Meanwhile, Trump's handling of the pandemic and his own health faced new scrutiny.

More than 209,000 Americans have been killed by the virus, by far the highest number of confirmed fatalities in the word. In all, nearly 7.4 million people have been infected in the United States, and few have access to the kind of around-the-clock attention and experimental treatments as Trump.

The doctors revealed that Trump was given a dose of the steroid dexamethasone after the drop in oxygen levels on Saturday.

That was in addition to the single dose he was given Friday of an experimental drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that supplies antibodies to help the immune system fight the virus. Trump on Friday also began a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug currently used for moderately and severely ill patients. The drugs work in different ways — the antibodies help the immune system rid the body of virus, and remdesivir curbs the virus' ability to multiply.

Trump is 74 years old and clinically obese, putting him at higher risk of serious complications.

First lady Melania Trump remained at the White House to recover from her own bout with the virus.

Trump's Administration has been less than transparent with the public throughout the pandemic, both about the president's health and the virus's spread inside the White House. The first word that a close aide to Trump had been infected came from the media, not the White House. And aides have repeatedly declined to share basic health information, including a full accounting of the president's symptoms, what tests he's undertaken and the results.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT