Traficant still critical, but breathing on his own


YOUNGSTOWN

James A. Traficant Jr. remains in critical condition, but the former congressman is no longer on a respirator, the family’s spokeswoman said.

Traficant, who suffered a serious injury Tuesday night and has been unconscious since then, has always been breathing on his own, said Heidi Hanni, an attorney and the Traficant family spokeswoman.

A respirator he’s been on since he was hospitalized, and used as a backup in case he stopped breathing, was removed Friday afternoon, Hanni said.

“They had the respirator on him in case of a cardiac event; he is 73 years old,” she said. “But the respirator is off. [Doctors] didn’t feel it necessary to keep him on the respirator. Why have something down your throat if you don’t need it?”

The removal of the respirator is a “positive sign,” Hanni said.

But “I can’t speak to him turning a corner on a prognosis or a diagnosis,” she said.

Traficant is unconscious and under sedation, Hanni said.

The former congressman was seriously injured Tuesday night at his 76-acre family farm on West South Range Road in Greenford. The 1943 tractor he was driving rolled over backward onto him while he was still in the driver’s seat, trapping him underneath.

Traficant’s family, who remain at his bedside at St. Elizabeth Health Center’s intensive care unit, are waiting for “doctors’ reports and results of tests” to come back, Hanni said.

Read more on the situation in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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