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Dr. Annunziata: Full Recovery Expected for Bob Hope

Aired June 2, 2000 - 11:27 a.m. ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go right to Rancho Mirage, California, where Bob Hope's doctors are giving an update on his condition.


DR. GARY ANNUNZIATA, EISENHOWER MEDICAL CENTER: ... back to where he is at baseline and talk and say things.

QUESTION: Are you encouraged by his progress overnight?

ANNUNZIATA: Yes, I think, you know, as I said yesterday, you have a man who's 97, and to go through an event like this, and stay as stable as he has and weather it this well is very good. And it just shows that he's a strong, fairly healthy person.

QUESTION: Can you be a little more specific about exactly what kind of condition he has?

ANNUNZIATA: Well, it's, again, it's bleeding from the lower gastrointestinal tract and there's different reasons for that to occur. And it's a common condition that's seen in elderly, by every gastroenterologist up here and elsewhere, and a typical presentation, and generally a benign course, and with self-resolution and full recovery.

QUESTION: Would treatment for somebody, say, 30 years younger, be different than what you're doing for Mr. Hope?

ANNUNZIATA: No, absolutely not.

QUESTION: Can you tell us what the treatment is going to be over the next couple of days, what the course of treatment is?

ANNUNZIATA: Since the bleeding has stopped, it's observation and support. You can imagine, if you get the flu or a virus yourself, and you are sick for a day or two, when you get out of bed, you are weak. Well, you know, if you are in bed for two or three days and you are 97 and you have had some bleeding, it takes a little time to get back on your feet. And that's what we can expect.

QUESTION: Has he been able to crack any one-liners, do anything like that? has he had anything to say? ANNUNZIATA: No, he hasn't cracked any one-liners or done anything like that. But I understand yesterday he, after awakening, before his events, he was doing some clapping and a little bit of singing, which he periodically does.

QUESTION: What's been the response from the public, have you received a lot of calls here at the hospital?

ANNUNZIATA: I believe there has been overwhelming calls, and because of who he is and what he has done for everybody, and...

QUESTION: How long do you expect him to be in the hospital?

ANNUNZIATA: It's just like this, most people come in to the hospital are unfamiliar with these settings, especially Mr. Hope, because he's been healthy most of his life and really isn't used to coming into hospitals. And like anybody who hasn't been in hospitals and there's different surroundings and people that you don't know, and a typical hospital setting.

QUESTION: Doctor, would you classify him as a patient or impatient?

ANNUNZIATA: He's patient. He's a wonderful, sweet man, and Mrs. Hope is a delight. Last night after I came out of here, I went back to talk to Mrs. Hope. Her first concern was if I ate dinner. And she went ahead and gave me a sandwich to bring home to eat last night. So you can just tell the type of people they are.

QUESTION: What are the risk factors and how does his age factor into any possible complications?

ANNUNZIATA: There's not really any risk factors. It's -- as I was saying yesterday, it's a spontaneous, sudden event. It occurs usually after age 60, and it usually resolves in probably greater than 90 percent of people spontaneously.

QUESTION: How would you describe his overall physical condition?

ANNUNZIATA: It's excellent. He is very strong. His pulse is normal, his blood pressure is normal, his kidneys and heart and lungs function very well.

QUESTION: Did he have a blood transfusion?

ANNUNZIATA: Yes, as we said yesterday, he did receive a blood transfusion.

QUESTION: What did he have to lose in order to warrant that?

ANNUNZIATA: I don't know the total amount of units. I haven't gone through and counted that up, but...

QUESTION: Is that unusual in a case like, to be transfused?

ANNUNZIATA: No, no. QUESTION: Can you tell us, is he still in the critical care unit? And what's the timetable to move him?

ANNUNZIATA: It's daily assessment by me. If he -- if I see him and he looks to be more stable, then we'll transfer him up. But it will be through today, and we'll reevaluate him in the morning.

QUESTION: Are there any other noticeable ailments at this time?


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) sign of something else that is wrong with him?


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) individual event?

ANNUNZIATA: This happens to people all the time. And then when they recover, they go on as they did before the event.

QUESTION: When he came in, Doctor, how serious was he? When he was admitted, how serious was he?

ANNUNZIATA: Well, I mean, you assign conditions based on vital signs and pulse and blood pressure, and he was critical, but a lot of that, you know, after retrospect looks, you have to assume critical or the worst condition and then assess as you go along. But, you know, you have a 97-year-old male who's bleeding, you take all precautions no matter who it is.

QUESTION: Critical but stable?

ANNUNZIATA: Very stable overnight, yes.

QUESTION: Did Mrs. Hope stay with him last night?

ANNUNZIATA: She's by his side all the time. I think we'd need a crowbar to get her away from him.

QUESTION: How is she doing?

ANNUNZIATA: She's doing very good -- just the mental anxiety of this event, but very stable, good spirits and happy, but very concerned about Mr. Hope.

QUESTION: Do you know if he had any history of an ailment like this in his past?

ANNUNZIATA: Never, and that's typical.

QUESTION: Has he reacted at all to the reaction of the public and the media?

ANNUNZIATA: No, it's been kept away from him. There's no TVs on in his room at this time. QUESTION: He doesn't know about what's going on out here?


QUESTION: Do you plan further tests today, or what happens now? Or does he just rest and you watch him?

ANNUNZIATA: Well, it's mostly observation and recovery. OK, any other questions? I'm sure there is, but...

QUESTION: Any other visitors, Doctor, beside Mrs. Hope, or...?

ANNUNZIATA: There's -- the hospital's received hundreds of faxes from people all over the world, well-wishers to Mr. Hope, and phone calls are coming in by the dozens.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) on another update?

ANNUNZIATA: We're talking about probably 2:30 this afternoon or so. Somewhere around there.

QUESTION: Is there any concern about a prolonged hospital stay? At that age, many people go into the hospital and end up getting something which they didn't come into it with.

ANNUNZIATA: I think, you know, as Mr. Ward's press secretary -- or Mr. Ward or Ward, his press secretary, said this morning, he's 97, and at 97, you know, anything can happen. But, again, he's very strong and otherwise in very, very good shape.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) my point, doc, about keeping him longer in a place where there are many other germs. Is that a concern of yours?

ANNUNZIATA: Always a concern, and that's why we very carefully assess the length of stay and the necessity for stay and minimize anything that doesn't have to be done.

OK, thank you. We'll see you back at 2:30.

KAGAN: And there you have an update from Bob Hope's physician in Rancho Mirage, California. Bob Hope listed in critical but stable condition. The critical listing sounds just like is a precaution at this point, just to keep an eye on him. Bob Hope has been suffering from bleeding in his gastrointestinal tract, but he was given a blood transfusion and that bleeding has stopped. His physicians says that Mr. Hope is in excellent condition, but he is 97 years old and this takes a little bit of time to recover. he also said that this is very typical in folks who are over 60 years old.

What is different here? Dennis Michael, as we bring you in from Rancho Mirage, we are talking about one of the most famous entertainers in the entire world. Tell us a little bit about the outpouring that is coming into Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as the doctor was saying, Bob Hope is kept unaware of the outpouring, but there are literally dozens of media here, and rather a farm of satellite trucks have begun to show up here at Rancho Mirage.

But, as Dr. Annunziata was just saying, Bob Hope's condition is good for someone who is 97 years old. The spontaneous lower intestinal bleeding that he suffered on Thursday is apparently quite a common occurrence in patients his age, and will actually resolve itself on its own.

He was stabilized at another hospital on Thursday, then brought here for care. He did spend the night, as the doctor was saying, in the intensive care unit, but he spent a comfortable night. And apparently, he will be staying in the ICU for the rest of the day, and probably being transferred later in the week, or tomorrow even most likely, to a private room. And they expect that he will probably spend about a week here under observation.

KAGAN: And that is...

MICHAEL: That seems to be the situation.

KAGAN: Very good and encouraging news from Rancho Mirage. Dennis Michael, thank you.

Once again, Bob Hope listed in critical but stable condition, but it looks like he is going to recover from this latest bout of gastrointestinal bleeding. And these doctors promised another update at about 2:30 p.m. Pacific time, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. You will get that new information right here on CNN.



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