US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to remain at a New York hospital for two days undergoing treatment for a blood clot.
She was admitted to the New York Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday, after doctors discovered the problem, which is said to be linked to a concussion she suffered earlier this month after she fainted and had a fall at home.
Her condition is improving and she is being treated with anti-coagulants, according to officials.
Clinton is due to step down in January and is widely tipped to run for the White House in 2016.
Clinton suffered the concussion from fainting earlier in December. She had been sick for several days with the flu and had canceled a trip to Morocco where she was to officially recognize the Syrian rebels.
Brain injury doctors said that although details haven’t been made public, initial reports indicate that Clinton may have developed a blood clot in her lower limbs as a result of prolonged rest and inactivity after her recent concussion.
A deep vein thrombosis, known as a DVT, or a dural venous sinus thrombosis, could be two types of blood clots treated with anticoagulants, said Dr. Alex Valadka, a spokesman for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. A blood clot could be dangerous if it breaks free and lodges in a vital organ, such as the heart.
A deep vein thrombosis could be serious, but not necessarily life-threatening, and would require months of treatment with blood-thinning drugs, said Dr. Inam Kureshi, chief of neurosurgery at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.
“Usually hospitalization is more of a precaution,” Kureshi said.
It is possible that Clinton developed a blood clot elsewhere, including her brain. Doctors interviewed would not speculate about treatment or prognosis for the secretary of state.
Days after she fainted, State Department officials said she was at home recovering. Officials also issued a statement from Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University that provided more information about the secretary’s condition:
“Secretary Clinton developed a stomach virus, leading to extreme dehydration, and subsequently fainted. Over the course of this week we evaluated her and ultimately determined she had also sustained a concussion. We recommended that the Secretary continue to rest and avoid any strenuous activity, and strongly advised her to cancel all work events for the coming week. We will continue to monitor her progress as she makes a full recovery.”
It wasn’t the first time Clinton passed out while sick with a stomach bug. As a U.S. senator representing New York, Clinton fainted in 2005 during a speech in Buffalo after complaining of a stomach virus.