Doctors treating US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for a blood clot in her head say blood thinners are being used to dissolve the clot and they are confident she will make a full recovery.
Clinton did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage from the clot that formed after she suffered a concussion during a fainting spell at her home early last month, doctors said in a statement on Monday.
Clinton, 65, was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday when the clot turned up on a follow-up exam on the concussion, Clinton spokesman Phillipe Reines said.
The clot is located in the vein between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. Clinton will be released once the appropriate medication dose for the blood thinners has been established, the doctors said.
Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University said Clinton was making excellent progress and was in good spirits.
Clinton’s complication “certainly isn’t the most common thing to happen after a concussion” and is one of the few types of blood clots in the skull or head that are treated with blood thinners, said Larry Goldstein, a neurologist who is director of Duke University’s stroke center.
The area where Clinton’s clot developed is “a drainage channel, the equivalent of a big vein inside the skull. It’s how the blood gets back to the heart,” Goldstein said.
Blood thinners usually are enough to treat the clot and it should have no long-term consequences if her doctors are saying she has suffered no neurological damage, Goldstein said.
Clinton returned to the US from a trip to Europe, then fell ill with a stomach virus last month that left her severely dehydrated and forced her to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East. Her condition worsened when she fainted, fell and suffered a concussion while at home alone in the middle of the month as she recovered from the virus. It was announced on Dec. 13.
Clinton had planned to step down as secretary of state at the beginning of US President Barack Obama’s second term. Whether she will return to work before she resigns remained a question.
Democrats are privately if not publicly speculating: How might her illness affect a decision about running for president in 2016?
After decades in politics, Clinton says she plans to spend the next year resting. She has long insisted she had no intention of mounting a second campaign for the White House four years from now. However, she would almost certainly emerge as the Democrat to beat if she decided to give in to calls by Democratic fans and run again.
Her age — and thereby health — would probably be a factor under consideration, given that Clinton would be 69 when sworn in if she were elected in 2016.