On Saturday, I reported that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was assaulted at his Kentucky home by 59-year-old Rene Boucher.  At that time, it was reported that Paul had sustained a "minor injury," but the word coming out now from a senior adviser to Paul says that his injuries could be "life-threatening."

The Associated Press reports:

Senior Adviser Doug Stafford said it is unclear when the Republican senator will return to work since he is in “considerable pain” and has difficulty getting around, including flying. Stafford said this type of injury is marked by severe pain that can last for weeks to months.

“This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force,” Stafford said a statement to Fox News.

...

“Displaced rib fractures can lead to life-threatening injuries such as: hemopneumothorax, pneumothorax, pneumonia, internal bleeding, laceration of internal organs and lung contusions. Senator Paul does have lung contusions currently,” Stafford explained.

...

Paul and his wife, Kelley, “appreciate everyone’s thoughts and well wishes and he will be back fighting for liberty in the Senate soon,” Stafford said.

Apparently, the three displaced ribs are the real issue here.

According to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma:

Rib fractures that are single and non-displaced are classified as hairline fractures or simple fractures. Ribs usually fracture at the point of impact or in the back where structurally they are weakest. More complex fractures can cause the edges of the bone to become misaligned or displaced.

A serious condition involved with rib fractures is called ‘flail chest’. It occurs when multiple adjacent ribs are broken in multiple places, separating a segment which is free-floating and moves independently. The most common ribs fractured are the 7th through 10th ribs.

Fractures of the first and second ribs are rare but may be associated with serious damage to the brachial plexus of nerves, the subclavian vessels or associated with head, facial or thoracic aorta injuries. A lower rib fracture is more likely associated with injuries to the diaphragm, liver or spleen.

We are also learning something of Boucher.

He is a doctor in the same town that Paul lives in.  He is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist who developed a product called Therm-a-Vest, a cloth vest partially filled with rice and secured by Velcro straps that is designed to relieve back pain by delivering heat directly to the areas of the back where most pain is felt.

He was arrested on Friday and charged with fourth-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail.  Then, he was released from Warren County Regional Jail on a $7,500 bond.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports on what took place, "The arrest warrant in the case indicates that Paul told police that his neighbor came onto his property and tackled him from behind, forcing him to the ground and causing pain. According to the warrant for Boucher's arrest, Paul had injuries to his face and had trouble breathing due to a rib injury."

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