WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is starting off the new year in a hospital with a blood clot. Clinton, a former first lady, ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Charles Eyler knows all about blood clots. He’s had two. “They’re painful, I mean really painful. Really bad pain,” Eyler said.
And now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has her second blood clot.
The first, in her leg, occurred during travel as First Lady fourteen years ago. Then Sunday, the diagnosis of a new clot -- this one in her head.
Most blood clots occur in the leg. They can be fatal if the clot dislodges and moves to the lung, where it blocks blood flow and strains the heart.
But Clinton’s doctors say her blood clot was found in a vein “between the brain and the skull, behind her right ear.”
“Blood pools and it doesn’t flow. Blood that doesn’t flow clots. That’s a good thing when it’s outside the blood vessels. Not a good thing when it’s inside the blood vessels,” said Dr. Ben Wedro, who works in a Wisconsin trauma center.
Clinton was admitted to a New York Hospital Sunday. She’s on blood thinners to dissolve the clot so it does not cause a stroke or neurological damage.
Eyler's doctor, John Ricotta, chairs vascular surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He says Clinton's extended hospital stay is not unusual.
“They want to be sure they don’t overshoot or undershoot, and they want to be sure that she is not going to suffer a bleeding complication while they are adjusting the dose,” Ricotta said.
Clinton is known as the most-traveled secretary of state in US history, flying more than 1 1/2 million kilometers to 112 different countries. But her December was difficult.
Secretary Clinton was last seen in public in Belfast on December 7. She returned to the U.S. battling a severe stomach virus. A few days later, dehydrated, she fainted and suffered a concussion.
Clinton is winding down as Secretary of State and deciding what her next political move might be. Whispers of a presidential run in 2016 could be temporarily silenced now, as doctors further assess her health.