Clinton suffers clot behind right ear, full recovery seen

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffered a blood clot in a vein between her brain and skull behind her right ear but is expected to make a full recovery, her doctors said yesterday in a statement released by the State Department.

Clinton did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage as a result of the clot, the doctors said, adding that “she is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family and her staff.”

The US secretary of state, who has not been seen in public since December 7, was revealed on Sunday evening to be in a New York hospital under treatment for a blood clot that stemmed from a concussion she suffered in mid-December.

The concussion was itself the result of an earlier illness, described by the State Department as a stomach virus she had picked up during a trip to Europe that led to dehydration and a fainting spell after she returned to the United States.

“In the course of a routine follow-up MRI on Sunday, the scan revealed that a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis had formed. This is a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear,” Clinton’s doctors, Drs Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi said in the statement released by the State Department.

“To help dissolve this clot, her medical team began treating the Secretary with blood thinners. She will be released once the medication dose has been established,” the doctors said. “In all other aspects of her recovery, the Secretary is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery.”

Clinton’s illness may raise questions about her fitness to be president should she make a new run for the White House in 2016. Barack Obama defeated her in the 2008 Democratic primary and then, upon his election as president, took the unusual step of tapping her for the most important post in his Cabinet.
Clinton earlier this month played down the notion that she would run again for the White House in 2016, telling a TV interviewer: “I’ve said I really don’t believe that that’s something I will do again. I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before.” The former first lady turned US senator from New York turned diplomat has played down talk of possibly making another White House run. She is expected to step down when her replacement as secretary of state, Senator John Kerry, is confirmed by the Senate.

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