Sen. Inouye hospitalized for second time in weeks

Sen. Inouye hospitalized for second time in weeks
Published: Dec. 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:08 AM HST
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WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye was admitted Sunday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for observation related to his oxygen intake. Inouye fainted at his office on Dec. 6 and was taken to George Washington University Hospital.

He was transferred to Walter Reed three days later.

"For the most part, I am OK," Inouye said in a statement. "However, I am currently working with my doctors to regulate my oxygen intake. Much to my frustration, while undergoing this process, I have to remain in the hospital for my own safety and to allow the necessary observation."

He is expected to be released by the end of the week.

"I will be back on the Hill as soon as my doctors allow it. Thank you all for the kind words and continued support."

Spokesman Peter Boylan says Sen. Inouye underwent lung surgery in the 1960s, when he was misdiagnosed with cancer and had a sizeable portion of his left lung removed. Inouye has been using a portable oxygen supply for the past few months, both in the office and as he travels.

"He has lived with it all his life," Boylan said. "About nine months ago his doctors recommended he begin using an oxygen supplement."

Inouye has occasionally been using a wheelchair as well.

"After 50 years of walking the marble floors of the Capitol complex, the marble has taken its toll and he has been advised to avoid long walks on hard surfaces," according to a statement from his office. "So, on the advice of his doctors, he will sometimes use a wheelchair in order to preserve his knees."

"I wish my friend, colleague, and brother Dan Inouye a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the Senate," said Sen. Daniel Akaka in a statement.

"We are in close touch with Sen. Inouye and his office. He is alert, feisty and ready to get back to work as soon as possible," said Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Inouye fell at his apartment on Nov. 15 and cut his head. He was transported to Walter Reed, requiring a few stitches, but soon was back at work.

Senator Inouye is 88 years old.

"That's now going to be part of his life now at this age, that he is going to be in the hospital once-in-awhile. That doesn't mean he is going anywhere tomorrow. But it means we should expect this kind of thing to be happening," said John Hart, Ph.D., Political Analyst and HPU Communications Professor. "He has an excellent staff. I presume business will go on as usual, but we will see him in the hospital and to think not is naive."

Senator Inouye is third in line to the presidency.  He's currently the longest serving senator in the United States and he plans to run for an unprecedented 10th term in four years when he's 92 years old.

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