Michael Jackson In Intensive Care After Collapsing; Show Put Off
NEW YORK (AP) _ Michael Jackson was under intensive care in a hospital today, and HBO indefinitely postponed his concert special after he collapsed during rehearsals.
Jackson was undergoing tests and was expected to spend at least the next two days in intensive care, the cable network said in a statement.
Jackson, 37, was listed in stable condition at the Beth Israel Medical Center North, where his wife, Lisa Marie, his sister Janet and mother have been at his side. Neither HBO nor the hospital provided further details.
The collapse was the latest in a series of medical problems for Jackson, dating to 1984 when his hair caught fire during the filming of a soda commercial.
Emergency workers found Jackson semiconscious and lying on the side of the stage, apparently dehydrated and with low blood pressure, when they arrived at the Beacon Theater at dusk Wednesday.
``He was lethargic. He was speaking slowly, mumbling,″ said Emergency Medical Service technician Kevin Barwick, who treated Jackson.
When Jackson was first treated, his blood pressure measured a low 70 over 40, said Marie Lamberti, an EMS spokeswoman. A typical healthy reading would be 120 over 80.
Jackson was treated with oxygen and intravenous fluids before being taken to the hospital, EMS technician Lashunn Knight said.
The medics found so much makeup dripping off the entertainer’s face that they had to lift up his shirt to check his pallor, Barwick said.
A Jackson bodyguard who identified himself only as Jack said the singer had been suffering from the flu earlier this week. Jackson rehearsed all day Wednesday and ``probably was tired,″ the bodyguard said.
Early today, his mother, Katherine Jackson, visited her son in his private room on the hospital’s second floor. Photographers and an X-ray technician said they had seen Jackson’s wife inside the hospital, too.
On Wednesday, Janet Jackson rushed to her brother’s bedside, leaving the hospital a few hours later without speaking to reporters.
EMS spokesman John Hanchar said help was summoned by a security guard at the theater, where Jackson had been rehearsing for the HBO special ``Michael Jackson, One Night Only,″ which was to be broadcast Sunday to millions worldwide of fans worldwide.
In its statement today, HBO didn’t specify when the show might be rescheduled.
At the Billboard awards ceremony Wednesday night, Tina Turner accepted an award for career achievement on Jackson’s behalf, wishing him ``a speedy recovery, from all of us.″ Janet Jackson also missed the show.
In January 1984, Jackson was hospitalized with second-degree scalp burns after his hair caught fire when a smoke bomb misfired during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Jackson underwent reconstructive scalp surgery and began taking prescription painkillers.
In June 1990, he was hospitalized with chest pains after being ill for several days. He was released after tests.
In August 1993, he postponed concerts in Thailand and Singapore because of what his publicists said were migraine headaches and dehydration caused by the tropical heat. It was during that ``Dangerous″ world tour that a 13-year-old boy first made allegations that Jackson had molested him.
Then, in November 1993, Jackson canceled a concert tour after admitting he had become addicted to prescription painkillers. He said the addiction grew out of his anguish over the boy’s claims.
The boy’s lawsuit was settled out of court for a multimillion-dollar sum. No criminal charges were ever filed.