Filipino comedian improving, but remains in intensive care

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippines' Comedy King Dolphy ¿has been cleared of pneumonia, but has developed infection in his body," his family said on Wednesday.

¿His vitals have continued to improve but he remains in the ICU (intensive care unit)," said Dr. Eric Nubla Jr., head of director-patient relations of the Makati Medical Center in Metro Manila, where the comedian has been confined for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) since last week.

Nubla said the ¿good news¿ was that the 83-year-old comedian has become lucid and could now respond to his family by nodding his head and raising his eyebrows.

Dolphy has also been able to ¿wince, grimace and squeeze¿ the hands of his loved ones and to ¿mouth some words and smile."

¿These are all good signs. However, because of his tracheostomy he still could not speak or eat," Nubla told reporters at the MMC. ¿He still has blood transfusion and dialysis was still being administered to him."

Asked of the possibility of Dolphy being removed from the ICU, the doctor said ¿it¿s still hard to speculate." He pointed out that these signs could also mean Dolphy would be weaned of his respirator soon.

¿He is responding to treatment. He has support of dialysis and transfusions and that goes to show things are under control," Nubla said.

¿First we continue with our prayers, second the doctors are doing their best and the patient is responding well so there¿s a lot to be grateful for," he added.

The comedian¿s family has maintained a strict policy on visitation, Nubla reported. He explained that the family ¿did not want to lose gains it had achieved¿ since Dolphy was very susceptible to infection. ¿His doctors are doing everything they can (for the comedian)."

In a radio interview, Dolphy¿s son, former actor Rolly Quizon, said a tabloid reporter caused a commotion at the hospital on Monday night after attempting to take a photo of the comedian at the ICU.

But Nubla denied any knowledge of this incident. ¿You must understand that Mr. Quizon (Dolphy) has been confined for two weeks now and his family is already tired. The ICU is a restricted area. There are reasons that require (the hospital) to be strict. First, the patient needs peace and quiet. Another is because the patient is immunocompromised."

Nubla added that most of Dolphy¿s visitors could only see him through a glass window.

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