The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head by a deranged assailant Jan. 8, is holding her own as she enters what doctors describe as a critical 48-hour period where there is a high danger of brain swelling that could be as damaging as the initial wound.

    “‘We are more and more encouraged,’ physician Michael Lemole, who is treating Giffords, said on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’ He said doctors ‘want to start getting her out of bed in coming days’ to avoid blood clots, and will be watching out for signs of new internal bleeding or infection.”

Experts remain guarded about the prospects for Giffords, the former chairwoman of the House Science space and aeronautics subcommittee whose husband is a NASA astronaut, making a full recovery.

     “Before she was wheeled into surgery Saturday, Giffords was able to respond to commands such squeezing [sic] her hand and showing two fingers, which suggests that she can hear, understand and execute basic motor movements.

     But doctors cautioned that there is a significant gap between being able to execute such commands and recovering the complex social, communication and executive skills that go into being a member of Congress. From a medical perspective, such responsiveness immediately after the shooting is an important clue as to the congresswoman’s odds of survival — but not necessarily her prognosis.”

READ IT AT: [Washington Post]