Ashcroft checks into GW Hospital

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is receiving treatment in the GW Hospital Intensive Care Unit after being admitted to the center Thursday night for stomach pains.

Emergency room doctors treated Ashcroft for a severe case of gallstone pancreatitis early Friday, and he is now being monitored, Justice Department officials told The Hatchet.

“He was admitted to intensive care for careful monitoring and is being treated with antibiotics,” said spokesman Mark Corallo in a press release. Department of Justice officials said they hoped to know more information regarding the attorney general’s condition by the weekend, but they did not return calls placed Sunday.

Ashcroft’s condition, which is not life-threatening, occurs when a gallstone becomes lodged in the pancreas. Ashcroft could remain in the hospital through mid-week and could require surgery.

The GW Hospital often treats government officials, serving as Vice President Dick Cheney’s main hospital for more than two decades. Doctors treated then-vice presidential candidate Cheney in November 2000 after a “slight heart attack” and again in March 2001 after the vice president experienced another bout of pain.

Cheney donated $3.12 million to the GW Medical Faculty Associates in April 2001 to create the Richard B. Cheney Cardiovascular Institute.

The hospital also treated President Ronald Reagan after he was shot an assassination attempt in March 1981.

-Mosheh Oinounou and Nathan Thoreson

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