Musician, Reality Star Bret Michaels in Critical Condition After Brain Hemorrhage
Bret Michaels, former lead singer of the rock group Poison and current contestant on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, has been rushed to the hospital after complaining of a severe headache which turned out to be a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage. The 47-year-old is currently in critical condition.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain – an area called the subarachnoid space. The main symptom is a severe headache that starts suddenly and is often worse near the back of the head. Patients may also experience a popping or snapping feeling in the head, sudden or decreased consciousness, difficulty in movement, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and vision problems.
A hemorrhage can be caused by bleeding from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), bleeding disorder, head injury, or the use of blood thinners. In some cases, the cause is unknown. High blood pressure, history of polycystic kidney disease and smoking increase the risk for developing a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Mr. Michaels was recovering from an emergency appendectomy in a diabetic rehabilitation facility (he is type 1 diabetic), but at this time, the cause for the hemorrhage is not known.
Surgery is the most recommended treatment. If the hemorrhage is due to an injury, surgery is done to remove large collections of blood and to relieve pressure on the brain. If the hemorrhage is due to the rupture of an aneurysm, surgery is needed to repair the blood vessel that burst. As Bret Michaels is in critical condition, the option for surgery will be postponed until he is more stable.
A PEOPLE magazine source says, "After several CAT scans, MRIs and an angiogram, [doctors] decided to keep Michaels in the ICU and are running several tests to determine the cause. [It] will be touch and go for the next few days while he is under intense observation”.
While in the ICU, Mr. Michaels will likely be closely monitored for blood pressure issues. Typically, calcium channel blockers are used to prevent blood vessel spasms and pain killers or anti-anxiety medications are given to relieve the headache and to reduce intracranial pressure. Anti-seizure medications may also be used.
The prognosis for a patient with subarachnoid hemorrhage depends on a number of factors, including the location and extent of the bleeding, as well as the development of any complications. Older age and more severe symptoms are associated with a poorer prognosis.