Puopolo Condition Still Termed Critical; Recent Test Shows No Brain Activity

Tests conducted last Thursday at Tufts-New England Medical Center showed that Andrew Puopolo '77, who was hospitalized on Nov. 16 after being stabbed in Boston's Combat Zone, had ceased to show any traces of brain activity.

A spokesman for the medical center said yesterday the electroencephalograph (EEG) tests, which measure electrical activity in the brain, would be repeated this week, and all life support procedures would be continued.

Doctors at the center have been concerned about possible brain damage because Puopolo's heart and respiration stopped briefly after the stabbing.

Bad Prognosis

Dr. Warren E. C. Wacker, UHS director, said on November 21 doctors were not encouraged by the amount of electrical activity shown by Puopolo's EEG. Wacker said the longer it takes Puopolo to wake up, the more likely brain damage is to have taken place.

Raymond D. Adams, Bullard Professor of Neuropathology, said yesterday a flat EEG reading is "a very bad prognosis if the patient is in a coma as a result of cardiac arrest or suffocation."

He said the chances of recovery in such a case are "virtually nil."

The medical center's spokesman, Henry Wilson, said an established criterion for death is two EEG readings of zero brain activity taken 24 hours apart.

Declined to Comment

Wilson declined to comment on what any further EEG tests have shown. He said Puopolo's condition was still termed "critical."

Puopolo and fellow varsity football player Thomas Lincoln '77 were stabbed in the Combat Zone in an early morning incident after the football team's break-up dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston.

Puopolo was stabbed in the heart and lung. Lincoln was stabbed superficially in the abdomen and released in good condition from Massachusetts General Hospital on November 18.