…but later reports indicate he’s probably not in grave danger.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – U.S. medical experts said the condition for which the pope was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night involved a blockage of air to the lungs that can last up to one minute.
The Vatican announced the 84-year-old Pope John Paul II had been hospitalized with acute laryngospasm — an episode in which air to the lungs is blocked in the larynx for up to a minute.
“It’s short-lived, but during that time you can turn a bit blue and it is very worrisome if you ever have it, it feels like you are going to die,” said James Thomas, a laryngologist in Portland, Oregon. “It’s very frightening.”
Such an episode is very rarely fatal, experts said, but is more problematic for an elderly person with medical problems such as the pope.
“He’s an elderly man and that’s a serious problem for an elderly patient,” said Gerald Berke, chief of head and neck surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.
“He’s got other medical problems and anything that perturbs his respiratory system is probably a serious event. But having said that, very seldom do you hear of patients that pass from this particular event.”No need to add a two hundred and fifty-fifth pope to the pizza, yet…