AP Photo/Gus Ruelas
AP Photo/Gus Ruelas
UPDATE: E! News has learned that NBC will have a medical team on the scene at tonight's finale just in case.
All this talk about the recently hospitalized, discharged, rehospitalized and again released Bret Michaels flying across the country to attend the Celebrity Apprentice finale has us wondering: is it really safe for him to make the trek?
Michaels' rep is saying he's not in tip-top shape, but well enough for the much-anticipated trip. Still, E! News consulted physician Dr. David Baron—who has not treated the rocker—and he tells us that while Michaels might be OK to fly, Baron certainly wouldn't recommend it...
"Being on blood thinners and flying is no problem," Baron explains. "My concern would be, considering that lightning has struck twice in this man's life at such a young age, and both of these events are potentially life-threatening, I would say, 'That's it, I'm pulling the plug. You are not going anywhere for the next three or six months. I want to...make sure we have turned over every stone, and that you are stable, healthy and as well-protected as possible.' "
The same goes for that concert tour Michaels is already talking about embarking on. "I would read him his rights about what could happen if he has a life-threatening stroke," says Baron.
"Sometimes a mini-stroke, what sent Michaels back to the hospital earlier this week, is a precursor to what could come. Assuming the guy has good doctors, and that he is a reasonable adult, he will understand what is at stake here. 'The show must go on' is not a good excuse to risk your life."
The hole recently discovered in the Poison frontman's heart has led him to take the blood-thinning prescription Coumadin, which, while common, actually may put Michaels at higher risk for health woes—similar to his earlier brain hemorrhage—since it results in a higher likelihood of bleeding.
According to Baron: "The real issue about putting someone on Coumadin is that you really have to monitor it and do a very simple blood test so we know exactly how much we want to be there to be based on the blood test.
"Even when you do it perfectly, there are risks to this medication because if you accidentally get hurt, you could bleed. You have to have a little more of a conservative lifestyle when you are on this drug. Anything that carries the risk of blunt trauma, you might suggest that the patient not be involved."
Like, say, flying?! Or how about rocking out onstage where props are strewn about left and right?
(Originally published May 22, 2010, at 10:33 a.m. PT)