Singer Bret Michaels Expected To Be Among 20 Percent That Recover From Special Brain Hemorrhage


Posted on 5th May 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 Rocker Bret Michaels is “extremely lucky,” being one of the minority of those who make a full recovery after having a subarachnoid hemorrhage, his doctor told reporters Tuesday.

 “At this point I can tell you that Mr. Michaels has been recently discharged,” said Dr. Joseph Zabramski, the neurosurgeon who treated the singer.

 “He continues to receive therapies and we are monitoring his laboratories daily and his medications daily,” the doctor said. “He is making a good recovery. I really expect that he will make a 100 percent recovery. He is one of those lucky people, the 20 percent who have a subarachnoid hemorrhage, who make a full and complete recovery.”

 Let’s hope that Zabramski, part of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, is correct in his prognosis for the 47-year-old singer and reality TV star. The frontman for Poison most likely will be able to return to compete on “Celebrity Apprentice,” where he’s been considered a frontrunner.

 Zabramski didn’t spare any of the medical details when he talked about Michaels, who was admitted to the hospital April 22 with a searing headache and neck pain. As it turned out, he had a dangerous brain hemorrhage.

 An edited transcript of Zabramski’s remarks on Michaels’ condition is posted on the Barrow facility’s Web Site, and it offers a very explicit explanation of Michaels’ treatment.

 Barrow is part of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Zabramski, perhaps a bit biased, called Barrow “the best center in the United States if you have a problem with your blood vessels.”

 After coming to the emergency room and being evaluated, Michaels was admitted to the hospital and doctors immediately started tests to find out the cause of the bleeding in his brain and whether he had a ruptured aneurysm, according to Zabramski.

 He showed reporters a slide of a CAT scan that was performed on Michaels’ brain, pointing out a white spot that he said was a blood clot.  

 “That is the blood that escaped from the vessels and clotted around the brain stem and that is what caused the severe headache and pain,” Zabramski explained at the press conference in Phoenix. “The reason this is so important is that 15-20 percent of patients will die as a result of the initial hemorrhage. The other patients, the ones that survive, their prognosis depends on the amount of blood that is spilled and what the cause is.”

 Michaels also was given a series of angiograms, and they didn’t detect any issues. “This is one of those rare instances in medicine where we are pleased not to be able to find out what caused a problem,” Zabramski said. 

 Michaels was lucky because “he survived the brain hemorrhage, got to the emergency room and then got here, to Barrow. And when I first saw him on the morning of his admission, he was still very lethargic, complaining of severe headache and pain and not fully aware of his surroundings. The great thing is that by the next morning he was fully aware of what was going on and his level of consciousness had returned to what we call normal,” according to Zabramski.

 The neurosurgeon didn’t tie Michaels’ hemorrhage to his recent emergency appendectomy or his diabetes.

 “At this point we were feeling pretty confident that Mr. Michaels does not have an aneurysm or any other problem with his blood vessels that could result in a recurrent hemorrhage,” Zabramski said.

 “At this point he should be celebrating, but at this point the blood from that blood clot in his brain had begun to dissolve,” Zabramski went on. “He was about seven days after the hemorrhage and as these blood products from the clot break down they are very irritating to the coverings of the brain and the spinal cord. This causes what we call chemical meningitis. This chemical meningitis can be severely painful and causes back pain and increased spasms. We could not treat him as we would many of the patients we treat because of his diabetes. For instance for many patients, we would put them on steroids, but he is a diabetic.

So Michaels had to go on and suffer pain and discomfort.

 “But he is improving and he will continue to gradually improve,” Zabramski said. “It takes about seven to 10 days more from now that this blood will resolve and he will really begin to feel like he is on the mend and he can resume all of his activities.”

 Kudos to Michaels for his will to live, his luck and his spirit. Even if he wins “Celebrity Apprentice,” that victory will pale next to his survival in Phoenix.

Singer Bret Michaels Has Setback That Could Lead To Seizures


Posted on 28th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Rocker Bret Michaels, stricken with a brain hemorrhage, has taken a turn for the worse, according to a medical update posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night.

 “Test results indicate a setback in Bret Michaels condition a side effect from the brain hemorrhage called hyponatremia a lack of sodium in the body which leads to seizures,” Tuesday’s message said.

The update was very detailed about Michaels, who has been hospitalized in critical condition in an intensive care unit since late last Thursday. He is under 24-hour observation but in “positive spirits,” according to the update.

 The message also said that although in critical condition, Michaels is stable.

 “Even though today was a minor setback doctors remain hopeful for a full recovery and plan to release more specific information next Monday,” the Facebook posting said.

 The update noted that CNN’s “Larry King Live” did a sho won Michaels’ earlier in the week. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said that the subarachnoid hemorrhage that Michaels suffered is an aneurysm in one of the blood vessels. He said that about 10 percent of people with that condition don’t survive; another quarter of people don’t make it through the first couple of days in the hospital; and 30 percent make a full recovery.

”Michaels’ medical workup demonstrated findings of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain,” Michaels’ Facebook page says.

 “It presents itself suddenly as the sound of a loud gunshot or thunderclap at the back of the head causing severe cranial pain and muscle spasms,” the posting said. “Many people are speculating Michaels head injury suffered from a prop striking the singer at the Tony awards last June is the cause.”

 Michaels will undergo tests this week to try to find the exact cause of the rupture. Since the singer is a lifelong Type 1 diabetic, and recently underwent emergency appendectomy surgery while on tour in San Antonio, he will remain monitored closely by his medical team to make sure no complications occur from the diabetes.

The medical update says that the most common cause of Michaels’ hemorrhage is a spontaneous rupture of a cerebral aneurysm, but “that 15 to 20 percent of spontaneous episodes of this hemorrhage are found to have no cause.”

  Michaels has undergone a continuous series of tests while in the ICU including angiograms, CT scans, MRI’s and transcranial dopplers (TCD’s).

 “Doctors state Michaels is very lucky as his condition could have been fatal,” the Facebook posting said. “With further testing and rehabilitation, they are hopeful that Bret will gradually improve as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months.”

 Michaels is responding well to tests and treatments, according to the Facebook posting.

 The message noted that CNN’s “Larry King Live” did a show this week about Michaels, where Donald Trump talked about the Poison frontman, who is a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

 “Bret is very likable guy, down to earth and a solid person,” Trump said. “Out of all the people from ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ I may have had the best kind of off-camera relationship with him over the three years.”

 Trump also said Michaels is a good father, and that he is concerned for the singer’s health.

What The Medical Experts Say About Rocker Bret Michaels’ Prognosis After Brain Hemorrhage


Posted on 27th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 Rocker and reality TV star Bret Michaels remained in an Intensive Care Unit Tuesday under 24-hour surveillance as doctors try to find the source of the bleeding in his brain. How the “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant does during the next few days is crucial.

 In the meantime, there have been many press stories theorizing, or interviewing physicians, about what caused the Poison frontman’s subarachnoid hemorrhage last Thursday night, and what his prognosis is for the future.

 Updates about Michaels’ condition are being posted on his Facebook page.!/notes/bret-michaels/bret-michaels-update-42610/389241632569

 “Once again we can’t thank everyone enough for all the well wishes and prayers being sent Bret’s way!” the page said Tuesday morning. “Look for an official medical report from doctors this week at Please remember Bret is, and always has been, a fighter and survivor and is under the best medical care possible.”

 “Reportedly, Bret Michaels didn’t sustain any trauma,” Rob Brouhard wrote on “He just started bleeding near his brain stem. It has been reported that doctors aren’t exactly sure what caused the bleeding, but the overwhelming speculation is that Michaels had a brain aneurysm, one version of a stroke.”

 Brouhard defined an aneurysm as a “soft spot” in a blood vessel that ruptures if pressure gets high or there is a blow to that area.

 AOL Health spoke to Dr. Jeffrey Thomas, spokesman for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, about what might be causing Michaels’ bleeding. Thomas said it could be due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, a dissection of a cerebral blood vessel or the bleeding of a vein.|main|dl3|link4|

 The physician said that “the most benign” of those three possibilities would be bleeding from a vein. Recovery is a snap. But a dissection or tear of a blood vessel, or an aneurysm, would not bode well for Michaels.

 Published reports have said that Michaels has fuzzy vision, dizziness and slurred speech since he was hospitalized late Thursday after getting a agonizing headache.  

 Michaels is diabetic, and had an emergency appendectomy earlier this month. There was initially some speculation that Michaels’ brain hemorrhage was somehow related to the surgery.

 But in a story in the New York Daily News Tuesday, several doctors dismissed the notion that the surgery could have directly had caused the bleeding in Michaels’ brain.

 One doctor said that high blood pressure is the most common cause of brain hemorrhages. Another said that Michaels’ may have developed a blood clot in his leg after his surgery and been put on blood thinners, which could have prompted the bleeding in his brain. turned to a stroke expert about Michaels’ bleeding at the base of his skull. That physician, Dr. Joseph Broderick, said that while the rocker’s condition is serious, it is survivable.