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’ Fight To Stay Conscious During Brain Hemorrhage Likely Saved His Life


Posted on 3rd May 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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Singer Bret Michaels’ fought to stay conscious when he suffered a brain hemorrhage, so his family wouldn’t find him lying sprawled on the floor, and that action probably saved the blond singer’s life, according to his doctor in Arizona.!/notes/bret-michaels/representatives-confirm-michaels-is-being-treated-at-barrow-neurological-institu/390848012569

But Michaels is still in serious condition, according to his physican.

Michaels’ camp Friday night on Facebook finally disclosed exactly where the Poison frontman is hospitalized and being treated:  the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Barrow is a  leading neurological center, as well as home of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

Michaels’ neurologists and neurosurgeons will hold a press conference Tuesday to dicuss his condition, treatment and prognosis.

Michaels’ Facebook page, which notes that the singer appears in People Magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful People of 2010 Issue this week, said with his subarachnoid hemorrhage was such a  life-threatening condition, and out of respect for his family, his location was kept secret.

There is a seven to 10 day perod “that is extremely critical in which multiple tests are conducted to detect the source of the bleeding,” the Facebook pages says.

 “There is no doubt that Mr. Michaels’ condition is serious,” said Dr. Joseph Zabamski,  who has been a top neurosurgeon at Barrow since 1986, serves as the Chief of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Director of Clinical Neurosurgical Research, and is leading Michaels’ team.

” We are treating the subarachnoid hemorrhage, which caused his severe cranial pain,” Zabamski said on the Facebook  update. “Mr. Michaels will continue to undergo testing considering we have hit a few roadblocks including hyponatremia, severe cranial and back pain suffered from blood drainage, an emergency appendectomy performed a week earlier and a lifelong history of Type 1 Diabetes.”

But the doctor added, “Bret’s sheer will to live and fully recover is undeniable. He has an unbelievable fight in him and told me what kept him alive at the moment of the hemorrhage was that he did not want his family to wake up and see him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor. It was a combination of Bret’s fight to stay conscious during the hemorrhage and get to the emergency room, and the immediate medical attention provided by our staff at Barrow that enabled us to stabilize his condition.”

Tomorrow, on Tuesday,  Barrow neurologists and neurosurgeons will hold a press conference to offer an update on his condition, treatment and prognosis in full detail.