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Media Grope For Clarity On Clinton’s Health

American media were awash with speculation Monday on the exact nature and seriousness of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s health problems following news of her hospitalization after doctors diagnosed her with a blood clot.

The announcement late Sunday that Clinton, 65, had been admitted to a hospital in New York for treatment of the blood clot was the latest in a string of recent health woes to hit the top US diplomat, widely regarded as leading contender to succeed President Barack Obama in the White House.

But while the announcement from her longtime spokesman, Philippe Reines, referred to a blood clot, it did not specify where the clot had been detected, prompting feverish speculation by medical experts quoted in US media on how dangerous it might be to her health.

United States

United States

Clinton, who announced earlier this year that she would step down as Secretary of State in January, has not been seen in public since early December. The State Department said she was unable to testify before Congress at a hearing on the Sept. 11 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, as a result of illness.

In its account of Clinton’s hospitalization, The New York Times quoted a brain surgeon as saying that blood clots are most common either in the leg or in a large vein in the head and noting that the latter, if untreated, can cause a hemorrhage in the brain.

In his statement, Reines said that Clinton’s “blood clot had formed, stemming from the concussion she sustained several weeks ago”—an injury the State Department said occurred when Clinton fainted due to dehydration resulting from a stomach virus she contracted on a trip to Europe.

His causal linkage of the blood clot and the concussion suggested that the clot might be in her head, a situation that medical experts indicated could be more serious than a clot in a leg.

“A clot in a lung or the brain is more serious” than a clot in a leg, The Huffington Post said, paraphrasing explanations from a neurologist at Georgetown University Medical Center.

In an article on the CNN website however, neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta downplayed speculation that the blood clot could be in or near the brain.

Reines said Clinton was being treated with anti-coagulants—blood-thinning drugs—noted Gupta, a CNN employee and a personal friend of Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“I think it’s very unlikely this is a blood clot on the top of the brain or around the brain specifically, because you just don’t treat blood clots on the brain that way,” Gupta said.

In an article under the headline “How Serious Is Hillary Clinton’s Blood Clot and Hospitalization?”, The Daily Beast reported that Clinton was treated with anti-coagulants in in 1998 after she developed a blood clot behind her right knee.

“The absence of information makes it very difficult—impossible, actually—to know whether Secretary Clinton is truly ill or simply in the midst of one of the routine bumps one receives known as middle age,” The Daily Beast opined, appealing to “Kremlinologists” to add to the speculation on her state of health.


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Ria Novosti
RIA Novosti is Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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