Hillary Clinton was finally released from the hospital today, after undergoing three days of treatment for a blood clot in a vein in her head.
The clot was a complication from the concussion she suffered in December after fainting, the result of dehydration from battling a stomach virus. Health issues prevented Clinton from testifying before Congress about the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, or from being present when President Barack Obama announced Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his nominee for Secretary of State.
There are a few interesting things that you should know about the blood clot Clinton suffered from. These include:
Blood clots are an uncommon concussion side effect
Doctors noted that the type of blood clot Clinton had, a sinus venous thrombosis, “certainly isn’t the most common thing to happen after a concussion.” It is more common among newborns or young people. Clinton’s blood clot was located in the vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind Clinton’s right ear.
Most blood clots in the skull or head aren’t treated with blood thinners
Clinton’s, however, was. Sinus venous thrombosis clots are one of the few treated by blood thinners, according to neurologist Dr. Larry Goldstein.
This wasn’t Clinton’s first blood clot
In 1998, she was treated for a blood clot located behind her right knee. When the blood clot was first announced by Clinton’s publicist, the location was not specified, leaving many speculating it was another leg clot. Eventually, the location of the clot was released publicly.
Clinton may need blood thinners for life
Given her history of blood clots, doctors may put her on a long-term prescription for blood thinners, or even one that lasts for the rest of her life. Blood thinners increase bleeding, so it increases the risk involved in falling or in suffering other blows to the head. It may even make her more susceptible to brain hemorrhages.
A full recovery is expected
The State Department and Clinton’s spokesperson have both said she is making good progress and that they expect a full recovery. Unfortunately for Clinton, her illness has cut into what was expected to be a victory lap in her last month as Secretary of State. Chances are good that she will still testify before Congress about the State Department’s role in the Benghazi attacks before leaving office.
More worrisome is what her health issues portend for her political future. Prominent Democrats have been pushing her to run for president in 2016, although Clinton has denied interest in running. Might health issues tip her hand towards not running for office?
For more general information on blood clots, check out this article from the Associated Press.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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