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Tribune Columnist Steve Otto Hospitalized

The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - Tribune columnist Steve Otto is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after undergoing an emergency heart procedure Thursday night.

Otto, 62, said he is doing well after doctors implanted four stents, which are used to help open blocked arteries.

He hopes to be released in the next two days.

Otto was playing tennis near his South Tampa home Thursday when he started suffering symptoms of dehydration, including sweating and clammy skin.

He went to the hospital emergency room and soon underwent a procedure in which doctors implanted the stents. A stent, according to the American Heart Association, is a wire metal mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty.

Otto returned this week from a cross-country train and car trip, including an exhausting drive of more than 3,000 miles from Seattle back to Tampa.

Still, he was quickly back on the tennis court.

“You gotta have priorities,” he quipped, speaking this morning from his hospital room. “I felt good enough to play tennis.”

Otto joined the Tribune in 1982 with the closing of The Tampa Times, where had worked since 1969. His column appears three times a week on the Metro page of the Tribune.

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