GMA’s doc warns, choking no laughing matter

By Ivy Jean Vibar,

Posted at Aug 17 2012 03:37 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2012 12:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines – One of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s doctors has warned that the former president’s condition is not to be taken lightly, as the dislocated titanium plate along her spine is “in a very dangerous area, if [doctors] are to touch it.”

In a press conference Friday afternoon at the Makati Medical Center, Dr. Robert Anastacio, a resident cardiologist at the hospital, said that many of Arroyo’s ails can be attributed to the surgery she underwent, as nerves in the spine play a large role in control of the body.

Arroyo’s problem with swallowing, which developed after her operation, is a serious problem, the doctor said, as a choking sensation means that there is a difficulty with the flow of air into the lungs.

Two weeks ago, Arroyo was reported to have choked on a melon, after which she experienced pain and was advised to have complete bed rest.

Her chief of staff and spokesperson Elena Bautista Horn had said of Arroyo, “Complete bed rest muna sya. Nasobrahan ata sa trabaho at na strain ang neck sa effort to get out the melon that choked her.”

According to Anastacio, her operation is to blame. “After that, she developed immediately the difficulty of swallowing, with a choking sensation. There is now a difficulty of flow of air into the lungs. It must be remembered that the lungs and the heart cannot function without the other,” he said.

“If we stop the airflow, there is a danger of the heart being affected and going into cardiac arrest.”

Earlier this week, a medical bulletin was released stating Arroyo now has a blockage in her artery.