From ABC News:
Hillary Clinton’s latest health update — cerebral venous thrombosis — is a rare and potentially “life-threatening” condition, according to medical experts, but one from which the globe-trotting secretary of state is likely to recover from.
After reports of the alarming diagnosis of a cranial blood clot, one discovered after her fall and concussion of Dec. 9, Hillary Clinton remains in the hospital for a second night, being treated with anti-coagulants to help dissolve the clot. The clot is located between her brain and skull behind her right ear and while it runs across the brain’s surface, it is reportedly not in the brain itself. According to the Daily Mail:
Doctors said Clinton has suffered no brain damage or stroke and that she is expected to make a full recovery [Emphasis added.]
“In all other aspects of her recovery, the Secretary is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery. She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff,” Drs. Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi said in a statement.
A clot occurs when a blockage builds up, either from partial thrombus (coagulated blood) or an outside compression. When the vein becomes blocked, the coagulated blood may extend to veins draining the area, which could lead to a lack of oxygen and tissue death.
For Clinton, ‘the particular vein they’re talking about, there are enough other areas for the blood to travel through so it doesn’t build up in the brain,’ Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN. The condition can be treated with blood thinners administered over several months until the clot breaks down.
While Bill Clinton has not yet been spotted, Chelsea Clinton was seen coming and going from the First Presbyterian Hospital in New York. It was reported that she appeared “distraught” and ignored questions from reporters. [Souce]
This is not the first time, however, that Hillary Clinton has dealt with health issues related to blood clots or fainting. She was treated for a large blood clot in her leg in 1998:
In a 2007 interview with the New York Daily News, Clinton called the 1998 clot “the most significant health scare I’ve ever had.”
As for her current situation mixed with her history with blood clots, there is some question about whether the concussion actually caused the problem:
Doctors questioned whether this concussion, paired with the fact Hillary had a similar clot in her leg in 1988, led to the condition.
“You don’t typically see blood clots forming in veins after this sort of concussion,” Dr. Gupta said. “She is somebody who has formed these blood clots before. There are some people who more likely develop blood clots. Does she clot more vigorously than normal? That with the brain injury – the concussion – could have led to it.”
“The most concerning thing was… the fact that this could be a blood clot pushing on her brain,” Dr Gupta said. “That’s not what this is. You wouldn’t treat something like that with blood thinners. It’s not a mass or a collection of blood pushing on the brain but it is something you’d want to address fairly quickly.”
While a collective sigh of relief is being felt among Ms. Clinton’s many admirers, particularly those already vaunting her to frontrunner status for the Presidency in 2016, her vocal detractors have been circling since she had to cancel her testimony at the Congressional hearings on Benghazi because of her illness. Florida’s “retiring” congressman, Allen West, and former ambassador, John Bolton, both appeared in televised interviews accusing Ms. Clinton of faking a “diplomatic flu”; or, as West put it, the “Benghazi flu.” Now that a very real diagnosis makes their accusation moot, detractors are still circling like vultures, some already stating that the Secretary of State is too old and has too many health issues to “realistically serve as a two-term president, were she elected in 2016.” [Source]
Odds are both Hillary and her supporters would take issue with that.
For now she’s resting comfortably, under excellent care, and will likely ring in the New Year with Chelsea and other family and friends in her closest circle. The rest of the country wishes her a quick, complete recover and a very “happy 2013.”