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Briefing on Status of Bret Michael Edmunds

Aired June 22, 2002 - 09:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: This is a briefing on the fugitive who was apprehended in West Virginia relating to that case in Salt Lake City.

THERESA MCCABE, HOSPITAL SPOKESPERSON: ... they have not arrived here at the hospital at this time. Federal marshals, U.S. marshals, are here, and they're also awaiting the arrival of the Salt Lake City law enforcement officials.

I can tell you that Mr. Edmunds remains in our intensive care, critical care unit in serious condition, the same condition as we reported last evening. He is under guard. The area is secured. And at this point, we are still, as I said, awaiting the arrival of the Salt Lake City law enforcement officials so it can be determined when and if a transfer to another facility will be appropriate.

QUESTION: Is that in the works, something we can expect soon?

MCCABE: Again, everyone is waiting for the Salt Lake City law enforcement officials to arrive. Again, the FBI has taken charge of the situation, and specifically the Salt Lake City law enforcement officials, along with FBI, will be making that determination along with Mr. Edmunds' physicians.


MCCABE: When the Salt Lake City law enforcement arrives, we'll be able to comment more on that. But at this time, again, because of the confidentiality issues, I can't really comment specifically on his condition, other than to say that he remains in serious condition.

QUESTION: Can I ask you to sort of in an oblique way get to the answer to that by describing one of the conditions about serious condition that would seem to apply here?

MCCABE: Basically, there are four conditions as you, the media, are aware of, good, fair, serious, and critical. As I said, he's in serious condition. That means that his vital signs could be unstable, that there are, along with that, some unfavorable factors there. But at the same time, he's stable, and the good news is he's not in critical condition.

QUESTION: Is also another condition of that the lapsing in and out of consciousness? MCCABE: Yes, that is also -- that can be also another criteria of the serious condition.

QUESTION: And can that be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) prevent police officials from interrogating him right now?

MCCABE: Again, I would refer you to law enforcement to answer that question, anything related to any sort of interrogation, the arrest itself, potential charges, that type of thing.

QUESTION: Can you tell us a little bit about how the hospital went from thinking that he was Todd Richards, or whatever name he used, to thinking that he was Bret Michael Edmunds?

MCCABE: Again, until the FBI and the marshals have completed their investigations and their questioning, they've asked that we not release any specific information related to what sort of alerted staff that perhaps he might not be the person that he said he was when he presented to the emergency room or when he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

Hopefully, again, once law enforcement arrives and we get to talk with them a little, we're hoping to be able to share more information, or that they might be willing to share more information about that later today.

QUESTION: It's been reported that he has liver failure. Is that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCCABE: Again, cannot comment on diagnosis, treatment, that's considered confidential patient information, and unless he says that I can tell you that, I'm really not allowed to divulge any of that information.

QUESTION: Is there a point if a person is in serious condition (UNINTELLIGIBLE) they could be moved (UNINTELLIGIBLE) another ICU?

MCCABE: There are certain criteria that the physicians use to evaluate whether or not a patient is stable enough to trans -- to be transferred to another facility. And we are using those guidelines in evaluating Mr. Edmunds, and that's certainly -- the FBI is relying heavily on the opinion and the advice of the attending physicians in determining when it will be appropriate to transfer Mr. Edmunds to another facility.

QUESTION: Where would he go?

MCCABE: That I do not know. Again, law enforcement will be able to better help us understand the options there and where he might be transferred.

QUESTION: You've deferred to law enforcement on many things, but now I'm asking you a hospital question. Has he met the criteria that would allow him to be transferred?

MCCABE: That I would have to speak with his physician about, and he's currently being evaluated.

QUESTION: What are the criteria?

MCCABE: I can get back to you on that if you want the specifics. I can do that, we can get that for you.


MCCABE: Again, I can't comment on his state, whether he's conscious, unconscious, alert, awake. Again, I'm hoping that once the law enforcement officials get here, if they say it's OK to release that kind of information, then we'll try to accommodate those questions.


MCCABE: That's a good question. No one seems to know. We hope that they will -- and expect them to arrive here sometime this morning.

QUESTION: As a general prognosis, is he serious with a danger of becoming critical, or is he serious on his way to fair?

MCCABE: He's just in serious condition and stable. He's stable and in serious condition.

Hopefully we'll be able to -- any type of improvement, we will report. And again, once the physician indicates to us that there is some kind of improvement, we will report that to you.

QUESTION: Is the attending physician the same who had seen him perhaps overnight and yesterday afternoon?

MCCABE: I would have to check that, I'm not quite sure as to whether or not that physician is the same physician that he has had since being admitted.

QUESTION: But any attending physician may be able to give him the OK to be moved, it's the person in charge of the ICU, is that right?

MCCABE: No, no. Each patient is admitted under an attending physician, the primary care physician, and that physician would determine if and when the patient is stable enough and medically stable enough that a transfer would not in any way jeopardize his condition.

QUESTION: Can you describe the type of specialist who is treating him?

MCCABE: At this point, his attending physician is a primary care physician. I'm not a...


MCCABE: That I don't know. We'll have to check on that. I'm just aware of his attending physician, who's a primary care physician.


MCCABE: Actually the atmosphere -- it was a very calm night. Everyone from staff to the law enforcement officials who were there have been very cooperative. We certainly don't often have this type of situation happen here, but I think considered the attention that we've gotten over the past 24 hours, that certainly every -- everyone has handled things well, and everything is basically calm and running according to plan within the hospital.

QUESTION: Has there been (UNINTELLIGIBLE) transfer the other patients? I mean, are they -- the other patients, have they been moved out of the area, there's enough room and enough services for them?

MCCABE: Actually, I don't know if I told you or not, but when we realized last evening that Mr. Edmunds would be staying with us overnight and perhaps even into the day today, we did partially reopen the critical care/intensive care unit. Initially, all of the other patients were moved out of the unit to other areas in the hospital, and it was secured, and Mr. Edmunds was the only patient there.

Later in the day we did move him to a different area of the unit that is totally secure, and it allowed us to reopen part of the unit to be able to accommodate five critical care patients. So one of the three patients that was originally moved out was moved back in last evening.

So there is one patient in the critical care unit in addition to Mr. Edmunds, but he is in a secure area apart from any other patients in the unit.

QUESTION: What about security for, obviously, the other patients in the hospital? Are you adding extra security?

MCCABE: Well, I think, as you saw this morning in the parking lot, yes, the hospital security staff is out in full force. We normally don't have this many hospital security guards on duty. And again, as I said, pretty much the U.S. marshals and the state police are actually there guarding the patient.


MCCABE: I didn't count when I was up there. But there are several individuals from the U.S. marshals. They're guarding him now, and have been throughout the evening, throughout the night.


QUESTION: Could you describe up there what it's like, how the situation is, what's different from normal that you guys do there?

MCCABE: He has been moved to one side of the critical care unit, and that area has been secured with guards. There are guards posted outside the door, that particular entrance on that side of the unit has been locked. And any other patients are on the opposite side of the unit. It has a separate entrance, and the nursing staff, again, is there and can pretty much serve the entire area.

QUESTION: Yesterday you said that he would be staying here at least through Saturday. Can you tell us how that was determined, that date, and whether that has changed?

MCCABE: Well, last evening when I spoke with the FBI, because we weren't sure, and I know there were rumors out there that perhaps a magistrate was coming in from Clarksburg who would arraign him, and they would transfer him out last evening, in speaking with the FBI, they informed us that that was not the case and that he would be with us through the night.

So again, once we got that confirmation from the FBI, that's when we decided to reopen a portion of the unit, because up until that time, our emergency department was on fly-by, which meant any critical -- critically injured patients who reported to our emergency room would have to be diverted to another hospital in the area that would have a critical care bed.

So that's when we made the determination that we would try to reopen the unit, and that's how that came about, when the FBI determined, in speaking with the physician, that it would not be medically appropriate at that point to transfer the patient out yesterday or last evening.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) strapped to his bed?

MCCABE: Again, I would defer you to law enforcement for those types of questions. I don't know, I haven't been in his room, so I can't comment.


MCCABE: Well, it's an eight-bed unit. We're not -- certainly not at 100 percent capacity at all times. But as I indicated yesterday, there were three additional patients above and beyond Mr. Edmunds in the unit at that time, so at that point we were at 50 percent occupancy there.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) referred to it as critical care unit and intensive care unit. What (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCCABE: It's critical care/intensive care. We refer to it in both -- critical care and intensive care unit.

QUESTION: Is it accurate to say he has more than six people guarding him, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCCABE: Again, I didn't count, and it fluctuates. I mean, sometimes you go up and there are additional law enforcement personnel there, during the night there were fewer. So I would just say it's safe to say that we have hospital security there guarding the entrances, and then inside the unit there are U.S. marshals and FBI agents at times, actually guarding Mr. Edmunds and the door to his room.


MCCABE: That we -- that will have to determined by the physician and law enforcement, and as soon as the Salt Lake City officials get here, we hope that that determination will be made sometime today. At this point, we don't know.

QUESTION: Have you contacted his family or is any family here (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

MCCABE: To my knowledge, there are no family members here. As far as any contact with family members, I'm not aware to comment on that. Again, the law enforcement officials in doing their investigations and their interviews have been more involved in that, so, you know, hopefully they will have more information on that. And again, they are still saying that you need to contact the Salt Lake City FBI with any questions that you want to ask the FBI officials.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MCCABE: Thank you.

QUESTION: When is the next update?


O'BRIEN: All right, that was Theresa McCabe, who by my reckoning didn't advance this story very much except to confirm that Edmunds is in serious but stable condition.




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