The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 06, 1991, Page 2, Image 2

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    1VPWQ T) iaPCt Ksodated Press
-*■ w if JL^ JL CL w Edited by Tabitha Hiner
Fibrilations send Bush to naval hospital
Power will shift to Quayle
if medication doesn’t work
BETHESDA, Md. — President
Bush continued to experience an ir
regular heartbeat Sunday and his wife
said he would remain hospitalized a
second night at Bethesda Naval Hos
Doctors added a second medica
tion in an effort to stabilize the presi
dent’s condition.
Spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said
that if Bush did not respond ade
quately to the medication, he could
undergo a procedure on Monday that
would shift the power of the presi
dency briefly to Vice President Dan
The procedure would be an elec
trical cardioversion, described by
Fitzwater as “a single application of
direct electrical current to the heart
— one very quick jolt.” The purpose
would be to restore the president’s
normal heartbeat.
Under the procedure, Bush would
be under anesthesia for several min
utes. Under the 25th Amendment to
the Constitution, Bush could — and
would — shift presidential powers to
Fitzwater said that the decision on
whether to take the step will be made
this morning and the procedure would
follow later in the day.
“President Bush’s medical diag
nosis today remains essentially the
same,” Fitzwater said Sunday. He
said Bush would remain overnight at
the hospital to allow doctors to moni
tor his situation with an early deci
sion on Monday on what steps to take
Fitzwater said there were indica
tions that Bush was showing some
response to the medication. Fitzwater
said tests on Bush showed no sign of
heart damage or any evidence of a
heart attack.
“I’m going home to bed. He’s going
to bed,” First Lady Barbara B ush told
reporters as she departed for the White
House on Sunday evening. There was
no official word from the White House
on Bush’s continued hospitalization.
Despite the continued hospitaliza
tion, Bush was in a jovial mood when
he poked his head out of the window
of his fourth-floor hospital suite to
talk to reporters. “Don’t worry about
me,” he said at mid-aftemoon.
Aides had told reporters Saturday
night that Bush was likely to leave the
hospital early Sunday, but at mid
morning Fitzwater said Bush would
spend the day at Bethesda and doctors
would monitor medication intended
to stabilize the president’s heartbeat.
Bush, 66, was hospitalized Satur
day evening after experiencing fa
tigue and shortness of breath while
jogging at Camp David. He was diag
nosed as having an atrial fibrillation,
a fast, irregular heart rhythm.
The condition, which strikes 1.5
million to 2 million Americans a year,
does not necessarily pose a serious
medical threat but can increase the
risk of a stroke, according to medical
It can be caused by a variety of
factors, ranging from a heart attack to
a reaction to stress or fatigue.
Bush’s heartbeat
moves spotlight
to vice president
dent Dan Quayle called President Bush
at Bethesda Naval Hospital on Sun
day before attending church services
as others mused about the man who is
a heartbeat away from the presidency
The president’s hospitalization for
an irregular heartbeat puts Quayle
back in the political spotlight.
Bush “will have to answer to the
American people about this issue,”
said Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, a
potential Democratic presidential
“Does he believe... again in 1992
that the vice president is the best
person in America to succeed him if
he’s unable to continue?” Clinton asked
on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Bush and his aides have said that if
he runs as expected, Quayle will be
his running mate.
Dave Beckwith, Quayle’s press
secretary, said the vice president wasn’t
concerned with the political implica
tions of Bush’s hospitalization.
But political scientist Norman
Omstein of the American Enterprise
Institute said Quayle’s inclusion on
the ticket would be an issue in ’92.
Soviet unrest
Boarder tension increases after evacuation
MOSCOW — Tension increased
Sunday along the Armenian-Azer
baijani border after Soviet paratroop
ers were airlifted into the region where
36 people have died in recent ethnic
clashes, according to news accounts.
High-ranking Soviet Interior Min
istry officials “unequivocally are
calling what is happening a civil war
between the two republics,” the gov
ernment newspaper Izvestia said.
Gen. Yuri Shaialin, the commander
of Soviet troops in the border area,
told Izvestia his soldiers were guard
ing an Armenian nuclear power sta
tion against a planned attack by
Armenian nationalists. The plant’s
location was not reported.
A parliamentary commission
formed by Russian leader Boris Yeltsin
planned to fly from Moscow to Ar
menia to investigate the bloodshed,
the Interfax news agency said.
Tass said Sunday that 200 para
troopers were airlifted by helicopter
into the republic’s capital of Yerevan
to protect military personnel and in
Russian radio said tension was
growing again, and the official Tass
news agency said Sunday the situ
ation throughout the area had wors
Feuding between mainly Chris
tian Armenia and predominantly
Muslim Azerbaijan goes back centu
ries. It involves disputes over land as
^vell as religious and cultural differ
Hundreds have died since fighting
broke out in the neighboring repub
lics in 1987 over Nagorno-Karabakh,
a verdant hilly area that is populated
mostly by Armenians but has been
under Azerbaijani rule since 1923.
The latest bloodshed involves the
border villages of Getashen and
Martunashen where fighting flared
on April 29.
Armenian President Levon Ter
Petrosian charged Saturday that So
viet soldiers and Azerbaijani Interior
Ministry troops massacred 36 Arme
nian civilians in the villages.
The Soviet Defense and Interior
Ministries blamed Armenia for last
week’s violence, saying the republic
was “stepping up its efforts to create
its own army” by encouraging vig
ilante forces. The ministries also
accused Armenian media of a cam
paign to discredit the Soviet army and
Soviet officials said the deaths
occurred when troops tried to disarm
Armenian vigilantes in the villages,
which have a combined population of
Sporadic shooting continued
through Thursday. Then the villages
fell quiet, and helicopters evacuated
dozens of wounded on Friday and
President Mikhail Gorbachev met
separately Friday with Ter-Petrosian
and Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Poison used to relieve arthritis
BOSTON — A genetically engi
neered drug that arms a human pro
tein with a warhead of diphtheria poison
can dramatically relieve symptoms
of rheumatoid arthritis, doctors re
ported Sunday.
One researcher said the medicine,
still in early stages of testing, may be
• the most important development in
arthritis treatment since doctors be
gan using a cancer medicine for ad
vanced stages of the disease five years
The treatment is a product of ge
netic engineering that welds diphthe
ria toxin to a protein that seeks out a
variety of white blood cells that mis
takenly destroy the lining of the joints.
The diphthoria-armed protein ze
ros in on these blood cells, enters
them and eventually kills them. This
stops their attack on the joints and
relieves the pain and swelling that are
- the major symptoms of the disease.
“I think it has a significant poten
tial,” said Dr. K. Lea Sewell. “It’s not
a rerun. It’s a new category of medi
-44 -
It’s not a rerun. It’s a
new category of medi
-f» -
Some 7 million people have rheu
matoid arthritis, according to the
Arthritis Foundation, making it one
of the two most common forms of
Sewell, a physician at Boston’s
Beth Israel Hospital, outlined the results
Sunday at a meeting in Seattle of the
American Society for Clinical Inves
The treatment, known technically
as an interleukin-2 fusion toxin, is
produced by Seragen Inc., of Hopkin
ton, Mass. The same medicine is being
tested elsewhere for use against some
forms of blood cancer.
Beth Israel is the only hospital
using the new treatment for rheuma
toid arthritis. Sewell said researchers
there are recruiting patients for larger
scale testing.
In initial testing, 13 patients with
severe arthritis took injections of the
medicine daily for a week. Four showed
dramatic improvement, while eight
others had at least some response to
the treatment.
“Three of them felt like they did
not have arthritis,” said Sewell. “It’s
really remarkable pain control. One
lady went dancing. One woman said
she felt like Cinderella.”
Among these patients was a woman
who suffered from 20 swollen joints
and two hours of stiffness each morn
ing. After the treatment, her only
symptom was one swollen joint in an
index finger.
Dr. David Trentham, who also
worked on the study, said the treat
ment has the most potential of any
drug developed since the benefits of
methotrexate were recognized about
five years ago.
Cyclone may approach
coasts of Bangladesh 1
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Fore
casters on Sunday predicted winds
approaching cyclone strength for
Bangladesh’s storm-devastated
coast, and news reports said survi
vors from last week’s killer cy
clone looted food trucks in one
Steady rain and inadequate trans
port upset distribution of relief
supplies Sunday to the estimated
10 million people displaced from
the cyclone, and relief officials and
physicians said “secondary deaths”
may start occurring soon in remote
islands still awaiting aid.
The Red Crescent, the Islamic
equivalent of the Red Cross, said
the death toll in Tuesday’s cyclone
was likely to reach 200,000. The
official count was put at 125,720.
Newspapers predicted the toll would
be 500,000.
A helicopter carrying the prime
ministers of Bangladesh and Paki
stan and Nobel laureate Mother
Teresa over the disaster area made
an emergency landing Sunday but
returned safely to Dhaka hours later.
State TV did not report any injuries
y. to Mother Teresa, Prime Minister
Khaleda Zia or Pakistan’s Nawaz
Of the food supplies reaching
the stricken southeastern coast, some
packages were airdropped into the ,
sea atop piles of dead bodies,
newspapers said. Plastic contain
ers of drinking water were dropped
from 500 feet high, bursting on
impact, a foreign photographer on
one relief flight said.
As time began to run out for
refugees without shelter or food,
relief officials criticized the gov
ernment for not coming up with a
specific relief plan.
As an example of the country’s
lack of aid coordination, its politi
cal parties are conducting separate
relieP'efforts apart from the gov
ernment operation.
“The critical period has started.
Famished men, injured men can
only survive for four to five days
under the circumstances,” said Dr.
Mohammad Musa of CARE Inter
national, a relief organization.
Gusty winds and rain, which
continued Sunday, handicapped
Bangladesh’s fleet of 17 helicop
ters and a few fixed-wing airplanes.
The Weather Bureau Sunday
forecast winds of 60 to 70 mph will
hit nine northern districts as well as
the eastern districts of Noakhali,
which caught the lashing edgfe of
Tuesday’s storm.
Nebraskan .
Editor Jana Pedersen Night News Editors Chrta Hopt*n*0*r0*r
.. . „ 472-176# Cindy Kimbrough
Managing Editor Diana Brayton Atan Phelps
Assoc. News Editors Stacey McKenzie Dionne Searcey
Editoftni pu. chi. £ir*Art Director Brian Shelllto
Editorial Page Editor Eric Planner General Manager Dan Shattll
Coov nalk CHilI°f Production Manager Katherine Pollcky
Copy<£"£|d£* Advertising Manager Todd Sear*
Assistant l!?!?* JSf* Sale* Manager Eric Krinoel
Assistant Sports Editor Chuck Green Classified Ad Manager Annette Sueper
.. ... Publications Board
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