U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, has shown improvement over the last 36 hours after being shot by a gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice earlier in the week, his lead surgeon said on Friday.
"The congressman's status remains critical," Jack Sava, the director of trauma at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, told reporters. "We are encouraged by improvement in his condition over last 36 hours."
The bullet entered his left hip and tore through his pelvis, breaking bones, injuring organs and causing severe bleeding.
According to Sava, several operations have controlled the bleeding and Scalise's vital signs have stabilized.
While he's still under sedation, Sava says Scalise has responded to family members. But he will remain in the hospital for "a considerable period of time" and faces additional operations.
Sava estimates there are hundreds of bullet fragments in Scalise's pelvis and says doctors don't intend to try to remove them all, as that could cause more harm than good.
Following the press conference, Scalise's wife, Jennifer Scalise, released a statement Friday thanking supporters for an "incredible amount of prayers."
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