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Blood clot located in Clinton's head, doctors say

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, shown arriving in Zambia in 2011, sustained a concussion last month after fainting from dehydration at her Washington home.  

Associated Press

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, shown arriving in Zambia in 2011, sustained a concussion last month after fainting from dehydration at her Washington home. 

WASHINGTON — The blood clot that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suffered is inside her skull but did not result in a stroke or neurological damage, her spokesman said Monday.

The clot was discovered during a routine MRI on Sunday as Clinton was recuperating from a fall and concussion, a statement from spokesman Philippe Reines and Clinton's doctors said. The doctors predict a full recovery.

"The scan revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear," the statement said. "It did not result in a stroke or neurological damage."

Drs. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Medical Group and Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University said they are treating Clinton with blood thinners and that she will remain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital until her medication regimen is established.

"In all other aspects of her recovery, the secretary is making excellent progress, and we are confident she will make a full recovery," the doctors said. "She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family and her staff."

It was not clear when Clinton, 65, planned to return to work or whether she will travel overseas again as secretary of state. She had planned to return to work after the New Year holiday, and at least one farewell trip was expected this month or in February.

Aides have said Clinton had become dehydrated because of a stomach virus she contracted during a trip to Europe. She fainted and struck her head in her Washington home in December, causing the concussion.

As a result, Clinton did not testify before Congress on Dec. 20 about the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. She also did not appear at the White House on Dec. 21, when President Barack Obama introduced Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his nominee to succeed her.

Clinton has had at least one previous blood clot, in her right leg in 1998. At the time, she was treated with blood-thinning drugs.

An expert not involved in Clinton's care said clots are most common in the leg or in a large vein in the head. David Langer, a brain surgeon and associate professor at Hofstra-North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, said prompt treatment usually dissolves the clots but that untreated clots in the head can be worrisome and even lead to a hemorrhage inside the brain.

Blood-thinning drugs can dissolve the clots, he said, and patients may need to stay on them for weeks or months to make sure the problem does not recur.

Information from the New York Times was used in this report.

Blood clot located in Clinton's head, doctors say 12/31/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 9:25pm]
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