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GOVERNOR DIAGNOSED WITH BLEEDING ULCER

July 14, 2003 – Gov. Charles W. Turnbull is being treated for a bleeding ulcer and will remain at Roy L. Schneider for another 24 to 48 hours, Government House announced late Monday afternoon.
Turnbull was hospitalized around 10 a.m. Monday with symptoms of general weakness and vertigo.
The release said the governor underwent a series of tests after being admitted to the hospital. Dr. Thelma Ruth Watson, hospital medical director, said he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer. Turnbull's other attending physicians are Drs. Lawrence Goldman and Sydney Comissiong.
Turnbull met at the hospital with Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, the release stated, and the governor was "preparing to take action later today on a series of legislative bills that become due at midnight Monday."
Government House spokeswoman Rina Roebuck made it clear earlier Monday afternoon that "as of right now, the governor remains in charge."
Roebuck had said earlier Monday that after being admitted to the hospital, the governor was doing fine and was "lucid and carrying on — you know him."
Turnbull, who turned 68 in February, has been under tremendous pressure in recent weeks trying to get the Legislature to agree to his proposal to borrow another $235 million to cover the government's operating costs and to develop capital projects intended to stimulate the economy.
The Senate Rules Committee rejected the legislation on Friday. At that meeting, Senate President David Jones indicated that he would seek to special-order the bill to the floor of the full Senate at its session scheduled for Tuesday. The bill had been amended in committee to invoke the "closed rule," meaning it cannot be further amended on the Senate floor.
About bleeding ulcers
An ulcer is a sore or a hole that forms in the lining of the stomach or small intestine.
Approximately one in 10 people will suffer from an ulcer, and according to a BBC News Web site, each year about 10 per cent of those sufferers — or 1 percent of the population — require surgery because of persistent symptoms.
As an ulcer eats into the muscles of the stomach or small intestine wall, blood vessels may also be damaged, which causes bleeding. If the affected blood vessels are small, the blood may slowly seep into the digestive tract. Over a long period of time, a person may become anaemic and feel weak, dizzy or tired.
If a damaged blood vessel is large, bleeding is dangerous and requires prompt medical attention. Symptoms include feeling weak and dizzy when standing, vomiting blood and fainting.
According to the BBC, ulcers of the small intestine, called duodenal ulcers, occur for the first time usually between the ages of 30 and 50. Stomach ulcers are more likely to develop in people over age 60. Duodenal ulcers occur more frequently in men; stomach ulcers develop more often in women.
While bleeding ulcers, according to various medical science Web sites, require emergency medical attention, they usually do not require surgery. Testing is typically conducted to determine the cause of the bleeding and estimate the risk of new bleeding.
In recent years the theory that lifestyle factors such as emotional stress and diet caused ulcers has lost credence, the BBC reported, although some lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol and caffeine, are still suspected of causing problems.
Scientists know today that an imbalance of digestive fluids can cause ulceration but believe that the primary cause of most ulcers is infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This bacterium, commonly called H. pylori, produces an enzyme that neutralizes the stomach's acid, causing the stomach to step up acid production, putting its own lining at greater risk, and that can attack the stomach's defense mechanisms.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAID's, used to treat fever, headaches and minor aches — including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium — make the stomach vulnerable to the harmful effects of acid and pepsin. These and prescription NSAID's used to treat arthritis interfere with the stomach's ability to produce mucus and bicarbonate and affect blood flow to the stomach and cell repair.
Doctors treat stomach and duodenal ulcers with several types of medicines including H2-blockers, acid pump inhibitors, and mucosal protective agents. When treating H. pylori, these medications are used in combination with antibiotics. People who do not respond to medication or who develop complications may require surgery.

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