UPDATED, Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 5:49 p.m. EST –
CNN is reporting that since her breathing tube has been removed, Bobbi Kristina Brown is being ventilated by a hole in her throat.
“This is an indication that the patient will need this for weeks and months to come, as opposed to hours and days,” said CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
He said the move lowers the risk of infection and is standard procedure.
Brown, 21, remains in a medically induced coma at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Doctors are attempting to slowly lift her coma, according to sources close to the family.
A source close to the situation told the publication that removing Brown from the ventilator does not necessarily mean a decision has been made to take her off of life support.
Brown has been hospitalized since Jan. 31 when her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, and a friend, found her unresponsive in a bathtub in her Georgia home.
This is a “normal” procedure, done after a certain amount of time to prevent infections, says the family source.
According to Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ENT specialist at Lennox Hill Hospital, the tracheotomy procedure is typically done when people are expected to be on a ventilator for more than a couple of days.
It is done to protect the vocal cords and to afford better access to keep the lungs clear of fluid.
“If the expectation is she’s going to be on for weeks, months – who knows how long, the best way to deliver oxygen to the lungs is through the tracheostomy” (the hole left in the throat after the tracheotomy procedure is performed).
Josephson says, “It’s a protective measure. There may be a slight scar, but in most cases that’s it.” He adds that it will not leave Brown with voice problems, “She absolutely will be able to speak.”
We’ll keep you updated with the latest.