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Doctors move Steve Scalise to intensive care amid infection concerns

Doctors move Steve Scalise to intensive care amid infection concerns

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise suffered a setback in his recovery from gunshot wounds. He was one of five injured when James T. Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire last month at a baseball practice in Virginia Congress.

On Thursday, he underwent surgery for the treatment of the infection, and he is back in intensive care.

CBS News’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jon LaPook, spoke with James Brown, “CBS Evening News” to explain Scalise’s condition and what could be wrong.

“We do not have much information, but the causes of infection in hospitals are pneumonia, bladder infection, urinary tract infection,” said Dr. LaPook. “Everyone has these catheters and tubes that may be infected.”

He said the hospital probably “shows evidence of infection” – including fever, high white numbers or a change in vital signs – and decided to move Scalise “into a part of the hospital where one can really keep an eye on it.”

While Washington MedStar Hospital announced that Scalise has undergone surgery and remains in serious condition, it did not specify which part of the body received the procedure.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook talks about the status of Rep. Steve Scalise in “CBS Evening News.” CBS NEWS
When the ball entered the Scalise pond, it broke, causing “hundreds of bone fragments,” which “acted as shrapnel,” LaPook said.

There are many important organs and structures near the pond, including the colon.

“When the colon is injured, the bacteria can come out,” said Pook. “There are billions of bacteria there and they can cause a pouch called an abscess. This is where there is a lot of bacteria that grows and antibiotics can get there.”

Surgery is needed to put a drain in the colon if interventional radiology does not eliminate the bacteria, he said.

The hospital said it would provide more details on Scalise’s status Thursday.

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