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Hillary Clinton’s Blood Clot Could Have Been Life-Threatening

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads through documents at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Dublin on December 6, 2012.  (credit:  Kevin Lamarque/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads through documents at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Dublin on December 6, 2012. (credit: Kevin Lamarque/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to recover from a medical close call Tuesday night – what has now been revealed to be a potentially life-threatening blood clot that doctors said they found in time.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, Clinton, 65, is expected to make a full recovery from her 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.

Former President Bill Clinton has been seen driving to and from his wife’s side at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights for much of the past 48 hours.

The home the Clintons share in Chappaqua was closed up Tuesday, with the heavy security with which they both travel concentrated at the Manhattan hospital where Mrs. Clinton was recovering.

Using an actual drawing of the base of the skull, a neurosurgeon from Cornell University pointed out the location of Secretary of State Clinton’s problem. It is a partial blockage in a vein at the base of the skull that allows blood to drain from the brain.

The New York Daily News on Tuesday published a photo of first daughter Chelsea Clinton looking anguished. Neighbors in Chappaqua said they felt the same way.

“She’s very hard working. She’s a good woman; it’s great to have her in the community. The family’s great; they’re good people,” said Joe Mendez. “I’m very concerned about her.”

The anxiety over Secretary Clinton’s condition, experts said, is akin to seeing that road obstruction you just avoided in the rear view mirror. It isn’t a threat anymore, but it underlines just how bad things could have been.

“It can cause a stroke. It can be fatal. It can also lead to seizures; to epilepsy,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Ezriel Kornel.

On Tuesday morning, an apparently relieved Chelsea Clinton tweeted an upbeat message – “Thanks to you all for sending good thoughts my mom’s way. Grateful to all her doctors that she’ll make a full recovery.”

Clinton’s doctors said she did not suffer a stroke or any neurological damage, and that she has been making great progress.

Earlier this month, she suffered a concussion after contracting a stomach virus that left her so dehydrated that she fainted. Phillipe Reines, her spokesman, said her doctors discovered the clot Sunday while performing a follow-up exam on the concussion.

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