NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s doctors have broken their silence about her condition, revealing Monday afternoon that she has a blood clot in her brain.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, doctors said they have confidence Clinton, 65, will make a full recovery. She is being treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights, where she was admitted on Sunday.
CBS 2’s Don Dahler reported former President Bill Clinton was spotted leaving New York-Presbyterian Hospital Monday afternoon.
In the statement that revealed the location of the clot, Mrs. Clinton’s doctors said it is a “right transverse sinus venous thrombosis” in the vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. She is being treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot, the doctors said, and she will be released once the medication dose has been established.
Clinton developed the blood clot in her head, but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday.
Clinton is making excellent progress and is in good spirits, Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mt. Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University said in a statement.
“The prognosis is excellent, and the reason is that was found incidentally; she didn’t have any symptoms,” said CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPook. “She didn’t have a stroke she didn’t have a seizure.”
Earlier this month, she suffered a concussion after contracting a stomach virus that left her so dehydrated that she fainted.
“She could have had trauma. She could have ripped that vein; had a little bleeding; a little clot formation,” LaPook said.
Clinton has not been seen publicly since Dec. 7.
Phillipe Reines, her spokesman, said her doctors discovered the clot Sunday while performing a follow-up exam on the concussion. Doctors have some ideas on what might have caused the clot.
“It could be the combination of her having been very sedentary from the flu, and then the concussion, plus having been in planes and sitting for so long,” said Dr. Ezriel Kornel of Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York
Kornel, a surgeon, has not treated Clinton. But he pointed out that the Secretary’s grueling schedule as secretary of state as a contributing factor.
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 Dr. 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 from it, Goldstein said.
The blood clot means Clinton will ring in the New Year at the hospital. Clinton’s doctors want to monitor her for at least another 48 hours to see if she needs further treatment, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported.
In 1998, Clinton suffered a large blood clot behind her right knee while campaigning on behalf of Charles Schumer’s New York Senate bid.
During her presidential run in 2007, Clinton said the previous clot was the most significant health scare she ever had. She also said she had stopped taking blood thinners at that point.
Clinton had been scheduled to return to work this week after being sidelined for three weeks recovering from the stomach bug and concussion. The medical setbacks come at the end of her tenure as Secretary of State – she is scheduled to step down next month.
Whether she will return to work before she resigns as planned in January remained a question.
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