Hillary Clinton Has Blood Clot in Head, Full Recovery Expected
Secretary of State's doctors discovered the obstruction Sunday, possibly linked to recent concussion
MONDAY, Dec. 31, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with a blood clot in her head but in a location outside of the brain, her doctors reported late Monday.
They say that Clinton did not experience any stroke or neurological injury from the clot, and she is expected to make a full recovery.
Clinton was admitted late Sunday to a hospital in New York City after doctors discovered the obstruction, which they believe is linked to a concussion she suffered earlier this month, a State Department spokesman said.
Clinton, 65, has canceled most of her public events over the past few weeks because of the head injury and "is being treated with anticoagulants and is at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours," spokesman Phillippe Reines said in a statement, The New York Times reported.
According to the Associated Press, the clot is located in the space between the brain and the skull behind Clinton's right ear. Blood thinning medications are being prescribed to dissolve the clot and Clinton will be released once the appropriate drug dose has been established, her doctors said.
In the meantime, Clinton's spirits are high and she is progressing well, according to a statement from Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University, the AP reported.
The clot was discovered during a regular follow-up exam, Reines said.
Doctors not involved in Clinton's care said blood thinners are typically used to dissolve clots, and patients may need to be on them for weeks or months.
Dr. David Langer is a brain surgeon and an associate professor at Hofstra-North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, in New York. He told the Times that clots typically form in the leg or in a major vein in the head. Quick treatment can break up the clot, but if left untreated these obstructions can cause a brain hemorrhage, he said.
Clinton had been on a strenuous travel schedule in her role as Secretary of State. According to Bloomberg, information on the State Department's website calculates that the Secretary of State has traveled 949,706 miles and visited 112 countries over 401 days -- about 2,084 hours, or nearly 87 days spent airborne.
But she has been seen less of in recent weeks. On Dec. 9, a day before Clinton was to depart for a trip to North Africa, her staff announced that she had caught a stomach virus and the trip was cancelled. On Dec. 15, Reines issued a statement saying that, "while suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion." On Dec. 18, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Clinton was "on the mend," and by Dec. 28 Nuland added that Clinton would be returning to work the following week. But the discovery of the clot on Sunday seems to be another health setback.
There's more on blood clots at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.