[UPDATE] Hillary Clinton Brain Clot: How Serious Is The Damage From Her Concussion?

By IScience Times Staff Reporter on December 31, 2012 9:43 AM EST

After Hillary Clinton was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, pundits wonder if her doctors mis-assessed her concussion to begin with, assuming it was less severe than it was.
If Hillary Clinton were better monitored the last two weeks could doctors have prevented her new blood clot? That's one of the many questions pundits are asking today after the secretary of state was admitted to the hospital on Sunday. (Photo: Reuters)

After Hillary Clinton was hospitalized on Sunday for a blood clot resulting from a mid-December concussion, political pundits are concerned that doctors missed how severe the concussion was to begin with.

On Dec. 13, Clinton was diagnosed with a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting. At the time doctors said the secretary of state's condition wasn't serious, yet she hasn't been seen out in public since.

Doctors treating Clinton said the clot is located in the vein between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. The good news, they said in an update, is that the clot did not result in a stroke or neurological damage. And they believe the former first lady can fully recover.

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This type of clot can cause permanent brain damage, coma or death if it isn't caught or treated in time. But Clinton started taking anti-coagulants before the condition worsened.

"In all other aspects of her recovery, the secretary is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery," her doctors, Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University, said in the statement. "She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff."

Yesterday Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines explained that Clinton's doctors found a clot during a follow-up examination on Sunday. She was then admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for at least 48 hours so she could be monitored and treated with anti-coagulants. "Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion," Reines said. "They will determine if any further action is required." 

When the concussion occurred two weeks ago, a senior State Department official said the concussion was "not severe," which eased the worries of Democrats hoping Clinton will run in 2016. Clinton, 65, was not hospitalized at the time, but taking what they called the necessary precautions, doctors asked the secretary of state to work from home. She was also suffering from a stomach virus at the time.

"At the [doctors'] recommendation, [Hillary Clinton] will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon," Reines said two weeks ago.

Clinton was slated to testify in Washington, D.C. about the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya, in September that killed four Americans. But doctors told her she could not leave the house to testify.

"Secretary Clinton's team contacted Senator Kerry this morning to inform them of the Secretary's concussion," Jodi Seth, spokeswoman for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said at the time. "Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the Secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation's best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, didn't hesitate to voice her displeasure about the fact that Clinton didn't testify. "Although I respect Bill and Tom, we still don't have information from the Obama administration on what went so tragically wrong in Benghazi," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. "We have been combing classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi. This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself."

In recent months, there's been new talk about Clinton's age because she is viewed by many as a frontrunner for the 2016 election. Clinton insists she doesn't plan to run, though. "Look, I'm flattered. I am honored. That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country," Clinton said.

In a CNN/ORC International poll released yesterday 85 percent of Democrats and independents said they would back Clinton if she ran for president. Ninety-three percent of Democratic women said they would support Clinton, while 79 percent of Democratic men said they would cast a vote for her.

"I really don't believe that that's something I will do again," Clinton said about a potential run in 2016. "I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before. I think there are lots of ways to serve, so I'll continue to serve."

Though Clinton has made a huge impact as first lady, senator from New York and now secretary of state, many pundits believe she would still like to reach higher. Nate Silver believes Clinton would be the Democrats' best shot of extending "their winning streak to three or more terms in the White House."

Some Republicans have said Clinton would be too old to be president. But Clinton told Barbara Walters recently: "I am, thankfully, knock on wood, not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy."

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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