McKinney In ‘Very Serious’ Condition
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Stewart B. McKinney, R-Conn., remained in very serious condition Thursday on a respirator in the intensive care unit of Washington Hospital Center, an aide said.
The congressman’s press secretary, Diane Brockett, said McKinney’s doctors thought his respiratory tract infection was clearing up when he began having difficulty breathing on Wednesday and was placed back on a respirator.
McKinney had been on the equipment for about 24 hours earlier this week.
″The infection was under control and they thought it was working out, but it hadn’t been eliminated,″ Brockett said. ″He’s in very serious condition.″
She said tests for lung cancer were being performed, but the results weren’t yet available.
In the past decade McKinney, a chain smoker, has suffered a series of serious medical problems, including a heart attack in 1977 and double bypass heart surgery after that. In November 1985 he was hospitalized for double pneumonia.
McKinney quit smoking when he had the heart bypass surgery, but he was unable to kick the habit for good.
The nine-term congressman was admitted to the hospital April 22 for tests after suffering gastroenteritis possible caused by food poisoning.
That condition subsided, but a severe cold combined with chronic bronchitis created the respiratory infection, Brockett said.