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Clinton 'expected to make full recovery' from blood clot near brain

Doctors are treating Hillary Clinton’s clot, which is beside her ear and just inside her skull, with blood thinners.

Hillary Clinton's blood clot was found during a routine examination following her concussion, which came when she fell ill after returning to the US from Ireland.
Hillary Clinton's blood clot was found during a routine examination following her concussion, which came when she fell ill after returning to the US from Ireland.
Image: Virginia Mayo/AP

DOCTORS TREATING the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a blood clot in her head said blood thinners are being used to dissolve the clot, and that they are confident she will make a full recovery.

In a statement yesterday evening doctors confirmed Clinton, 65, had not suffered a stroke or any neurological damage from the clot that formed after she suffered a concussion when she fainted at her home last month.

Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday when the clot turned up on a follow-up exam following her concussion, Clinton spokesman Phillipe Reines said.

The clot is located in the vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. She will be released once the medication dose for the blood thinners has been established, the doctors said.

In their statement, Dr Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr 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 Dr Larry Goldstein, a neurologist from Duke University who is not involved in Clinton’s care.

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.

Clinton had just returned to the US from a tour of Europe – including a stop in Ireland for an OSCE conference – when she fell ill with a stomach virus in early December that left her severely dehydrated and forced her to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East.

Until then, she had canceled only two scheduled overseas trips, one to Europe after breaking her elbow in June 2009 and one to Asia after the February 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Her condition worsened when she fainted, fell and suffered a concussion while at home alone in mid-December as she recovered from the virus.

This isn’t the first time Clinton has suffered a blood clot: in 1998, midway through her husband Bill’s second term as US President, Clinton was in New York fundraising for the midterm elections when a swollen right foot led her doctor to diagnose a clot in her knee requiring immediate treatment.

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