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Bob Hope's Condition Improving

Aired August 30, 2001 - 15:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: ... Burbank, find out how Bob Hope is doing. He's in the hospital. Here is his doctor.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DR. LEE KAGAN, HOPE'S PHYSICIAN: I'd like to clarify that Mr. Hope is not on life-support. He is not on a breathing machine or a ventilator. At no time during his stay has he needed any life- support. Mr. Hope continues to be in stabile condition. And he's gradually recovering. He has been weakened by this illness but we remain confident that he will be well enough to go home within the next few days. Thank you.

I would also like to read a statement from Mrs. Hope. She asked that I read this to you. It is so gratifying to see such expressions of affection for Bob. Please give our heartfelt thanks to our friends, fans of Bob, and members of the media for their get well wishes, and please keep us in your prayers. Thank you. Any questions?

QUESTION: How is are his spirits?

KAGAN: Good.

QUESTION: Has he been joking around, anything like that?

KAGAN: Not joking yet, we are still waiting.

QUESTION: You were talking yesterday about hand gestures. Has the communication gone beyond that?

KAGAN: Not at this time.

QUESTION: How long does it take to recover from this type of pneumonia?

KAGAN: In a gentleman in this age group, it may be weeks before he has fully recovered, and is back to his status before he became ill.

QUESTION: So when he goes home, what kind of follow up treatment will he be having?

KAGAN: That remains to be seen. We will see what his status is like when we discharge him.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lungs are infected or (UNINTELLIGIBLE) overall (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ?

KAGAN: Hard to tell. In this age range again, any serious illness can't be a good thing but as I say, he's responding well.

QUESTION: You say he's not on life-support nor has he been on life-support machines since he's been here. Has he been on ventilators?

KAGAN: He's not been on a ventilator at all. What he's receiving is oxygen through thin tubing under the nose, commonly used in the hospital.

QUESTION: Does he have a fever?

KAGAN: He does not have a fever, no.

QUESTION: Did he when he came in? Isn't that part of the symptom of pneumonia, fever?

KAGAN: Fever can be a part of the pneumonia picture, but often in those in the extreme ends of a lifespan you may have a serious infection and not have fever.

QUESTION: Did he have a fever when he came into the hospital?

KAGAN: He did not.

QUESTION: Are his lungs being cleared OK, any suction, are his lungs OK? How is that going?

KAGAN: His lungs are being cleared and I listened to them this morning and they are almost clear.

QUESTION: When he goes home will he need anything at home to help him?

KAGAN: Remains to be seen.

QUESTION: How do you -- when you have an elderly person, recurrence in an elderly person like this in terms of the lungs filling up again?

KAGAN: As you know, Bob has a lot of support at home. He has meticulous care and aides and he's well cared for at home. There is no specific thing to be done.

QUESTION: Will he be on diuretics?

KAGAN: No.

QUESTION: Does this put any additional stress on his heart?

KAGAN: His heart is doing fine. QUESTION: Doctor, you said yesterday that before he goes home he's got to be eating solid foods again, not needing the oxygen. Can you go over those things again that you will be looking for?

KAGAN: Before discharge as long as he is stable from hemodynamic (ph) and pulmonary standpoint, we would like to know that he is getting adequate nutrition and he is gradually strengthening. I don't expect him to be fully back up-to-speed when he goes home. He is not going to be hitting the links in a week, but it will be a while.

QUESTION: And You expect, over the course of the next several days, this should happen?

KAGAN: My expectation over the next several days, he should be well enough to go home. Not over his illness but well enough not need to be in the hospital.

QUESTION: Does that mean he would be eating solid food at that time?

KAGAN: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: Given what you said yesterday he would be eating solid food at that time?

KAGAN: Don't know.

QUESTION: But that's not a prerequisite for him going home?

KAGAN: It is not. One more question.

QUESTION: As far as trouble breathing, what other (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KAGAN: The initial manifestations were increased respiratory rate. He appeared to be air hungry. He looked like he was having some respiratory distress. His oxygen level was low and his heart rate was up. Those were all indications that something was wrong, presumably respiratory and when we got him here to the hospital, it was clear that the problem was in fact pneumonia. Thank you very much.

WATERS: Bob Hope's personal physician at St. Joseph's Hospital, Dr. Lee Kagan telling us that Bob Hope is stabile, he is responding to pneumonia which earlier on had been described as mild pneumonia, however the doctor said that Bob Hope will remain in the hospital at least several more days and it may take weeks before he fully recovers.

He is receiving oxygen. He does not have a fever. It must be remembered he is 98 years old. His wife Dolores thanking many fans for their outpouring of concern. Of course we have been telling you as others have, of Bob Hope wishes to here from you at bobhope.com. There will be many more expressions of concern we are sure. I'm Lou Waters.

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