U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "is making excellent progress" recovering from a blood clot in her head and is on blood thinners, her medical team said.
According to a statement issued New Year's Eve, a scan discovered the clot in the right transverse venous sinus, the space between her brain and her skull, but there was no stroke or neurological damage.Drs. Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi said they "are confident she will make a full recovery" and that she "is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff," the Voice of America reported.The statement said the secretary of state is being treated with blood thinners and will be released once her dosage has been established.
Clinton was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Sunday, after doctors discovered a blood clot while performing a follow-up MRI exam for a concussion she suffered two weeks ago, when she fainted due to dehydration from a stomach virus.Clinton's illness forced her to cancel travel plans and public appearances in recent weeks, including a congressional hearing about the deadly events at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.
Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea visited her on Monday, and a number of senior aides remain at the hospital with her, CBS reported. CBS New York also reported that the Clintons' suburban home in Chappaqua, N.Y., seemed closed up Tuesday.
"She is lucky being Hillary Clinton and had a follow-up MRI -- lucky that her team thought to do it," Dr. Brian D. Greenwald, medical director at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Center for Head Injuries, told ABC News. "It could have potentially serious complications."
The backup of blood flow could have caused a stroke or hemorrhage, according to Greenwald.
"Imagine this vein, where all the cerebral spinal fluid inside the head and spine no longer flows through this area," he said. "You get a big back up and that itself could cause a stroke. In the long-term … the venous system can't get the blood out of the brain. It's like a Lincoln Tunnel backup."
According to Greenwald, the clot was most likely caused by dehydration brought on by the flu, perhaps exacerbated by a concussion Clinton recently suffered.
"The only time I have seen it happen is when people are severely dehydrated and it causes the blood to be so thick that it causes a clot in the area," said the doctor. "It's one of the long-term effects of a viral illness."
This isn't the first time Clinton has suffered a blood clot, the Associated Press reports. In 1998, midway through her husband's second term as 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.
In a Gallup poll of Americans released over the weekend, Clinton ranked as the most admired woman in the world for the 11th year in a row, but if her health problems persist, it could raise doubts about a possible presidential candidacy in 2016.