Former President Bush suffers series of setbacks in hospital
Persistent fever puts 88-year-old in intensive care
- Duration 4:56
- Date Dec 27, 2012
Persistent fever puts 88-year-old in intensive care
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Well president George H.
Bush is in intensive care at a Houston hospital battling a stubborn fever the former president has been sick for a few weeks now on November 7 he was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston with a cough.
He was later released only to be readmitted on November 23.
By December 13 a hospital spokesman said the former president was improving.
And should be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family.
But two days before Christmas.
Bush was moved to the intensive care unit at Methodist.
Due to that stubborn fever yesterday a spokesman saying the former president had a stubborn fever that won't go away.
So what are we to make up all of this doctor Bob -- heat.
Is the chairman of the department of medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey thank you for joining -- for having me.
So he's intensive care now since Sunday but it wasn't until late yesterday three days later that his spokesman came out.
And acknowledge this to the public what do what do you make of that.
Well it is somewhat worrisome as I mentioned yesterday he's eighty years old.
He has a number of problems and all we know is that on November the third when he was admitted he had something called -- -- bronchitis.
Trachea bronchitis is really an inflammation.
Of the tubes that go into the lungs both small and large.
And it was apparently a viral infection so what they did was they treated him.
-- -- a standard procedure and -- they treated him with other things.
Other medications like antibiotics in the in the hope that they would prevent a bacterial super infection.
Well it may be that the bacterial super infection has happened and that's the big concern because what happens when you run a fever especially a high fever.
After being on steroids in being treated for trachea bronchitis.
That means that you could have a blood infection and this is the big concern because somebody who's he has a tough time.
Battling an infection that's bacterial the blood can be infected and a number of other things.
Yeah -- -- the spokesperson Jim McGrath said that keep the fever is just not responding to any of the things that they have tried so far he did say.
But the president is awake he's alert he's joking with doctors.
But he went on to say.
You know and they don't put you in intensive care because you're doing well.
True enough they said he was gonna be home by Christmas so things obviously not going according to -- -- well he is the president of the United States the former president so a little care on our side would be good there and that's I think why he's in the icu.
The intensive care unit for the average patient that is an elderly patient that runs a temperature like this he would be observed.
Of course an elderly patient runs the risk of dehydration.
So I'm sure he's getting a lot of fluid and he's getting anti bacterial antibiotics remember the first infection was a virus.
This may well have become a bacterial infection.
And there's somewhat difficult to treat we know that the president's had other health problems over his life.
He is confined to a wheelchair now because of some neurological issues.
I'm concerned about that I'm concerned about the fact that he may be developing a pneumonia and that is what everybody's really worried about.
Right now what we need to stress though that really what we're doing here is that speculating the hospital.
Very respectful of the former president's privacy they really haven't said much at all about his condition the only word that we have.
On this latest step moved to intensive care is from the president's own spokesperson Jim McGrath.
And he didn't say all that much she -- stubborn fever he said the doctors are cautiously optimistic.
Do you expect these doctors or the hospital to come out with anything more specific for us.
I think it's really up to the family I think the bush family has been very.
Has kept facts very close to the -- this is appropriate I think after all he is an 88 year old man we don't want to over speculate we don't want to start hanging -- All over the place so worried about the president but we are in fact this suddenly worried about his health especially since he is in the icu.
And he is not responding.
Two Tylenol and other means of lowering his temperature.
He has again been on steroids for this trachea bronchitis that is worrisome because as you know -- steroids.
Do sort of at continuing the immune system he's 88 so he's immune system is already attenuated because of his age.
So we have a guy who may be super infected with maybe what was or is now developing to be -- community acquired pneumonia.
And he could be ceding his blood they were all kinds of things we can speculate about the doctors are all concerned about that I'm sure they're taking appropriate actions.
And I think the fact that he's in the icu in guarded condition.
Shouldn't make us -- Inappropriately but we should be very cautious and and that's what they're saying cautious optimism.
Right that's what I have -- -- chairman of the department of medicine at Newark Beth Israel hospital thank you once again thank Pete has me Greg.