Medical watch on David Blaine

By ABDUL TAHER, Evening Standard

David Blaine will have medical help on 24-hour standby from today as he enters the final two weeks of his ordeal above the Thames.

He has now been starving himself in a transparent box near Tower Bridge for 30 days.

The assistance has been brought in for fear serious physical complications may bring the stunt to a disastrous end.

"You could have anything from diabetes to kidney or liver problems, you just don't know," said Paul Kenny, the director of Visual EMS, a company which provides emergency pre-hospital medical care and is monitoring Blaine every minute of the day.

From next week there will also be an ambulance on site.

Mr Kenny said his team has already noticed a change in Blaine, with "a slowdown in his responses, aches and pains in his muscles".

In the coming days, the American could experience slight hair loss, discolouration of the skin and more frequent bouts of diarrhoea.

Other side-effects the magician could face as a result of starvation include short-term memory loss and lethargy.

He will also experience muscular cramps as well as fainting - he has already lost consciousness a few times.

And disappointingly for women who expose themselves to him, Blaine may have lost his sexual appetite two weeks into his starvation.

Blaine's box can be lowered in less than two minutes if he needs urgent medical attention, and he can be stabilised on site before being rushed to hospital.

Once Blaine leaves his box, he will undergo a slow process of " rehydration" through drips which may take weeks, and it could be up to a month before the illusionist can eat regular solid meals.

Blaine is believed to have gained more than 20lb before he went inside the box and Mr Kenny says he may have lost about 25-30 lb already.

So far, Mr Kenny's team has only monitored Blaine from Bolton via a webcam but will now also be watching him on site as he enters the final critical two weeks of his stunt.

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