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Congressman Said To Be In Extremely Serious To Critical Condition

May 1, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Stewart B. McKinney, R-Conn., suffering from a respiratory tract infection, was in ″extremely serious to critical″ condition Friday at the Washington Hospital Center, his press secretary said.

McKinney, 56, is on a respirator in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Diane Brockett, the congressman’s press secretary, said late Friday afternoon there was no change in McKinney’s condition, but added, ″he’s holding his own.″

She said earlier in the day that McKinney showed ″no improvement overnight. He’s extremely serious to critical.″

″Basically, he’s not able to absorb enough oxygen,″ Brockett said.

McKinney began having difficulty breathing after doctors thought his infection was clearing up, Brockett had said Thursday.

″The infection was under control and they thought it was working out, but it hadn’t been eliminated,″ Brockett said.

She said McKinney was tested for lung cancer, but there was no information on the results. Joe Daniels, a hospital spokesman, said he had no information on McKinney’s condition and referred all calls to the congressman’s press secretary.

McKinney, a chain smoker, has suffered a series of serious medical problems, including a heart attack in 1977. He had double-bypass heart surgery after that, and in November 1985, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia.

The nine-term congressman was admitted to the hospital April 22 for tests after suffering gastroenteritis, possibly caused by food poisoning.

That condition subsided, but a severe cold combined with chronic bronchitis created the respiratory infection, Brockett said.

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