Doctors: Hillary Clinton 'in good spirits,' expected to make full recovery from blood clot in head

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at the opening plenary of the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's doctors said Monday that she is expected to make a full recovery from a blood clot that has formed in her head.

Clinton remained at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday after doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered in mid-December, according to State Department officials.

The State Department issued a statement Monday evening, saying Clinton's medical team said the clot was "between the brain and the skull behind the right ear," and was being treated with blood thinners.


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Clinton's medical team, Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mt. Kisco Medical Group, and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University, said she would be "released once the medication dose has been established." The clot did not cause a stroke or neurological damage, they said.

"In all other aspects of her recovery, the Secretary is making excellent progress, and we are confident she will make a full recovery," the doctors said. "She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family and her staff."

Clinton, 65, suffered the concussion after she fell while at home alone in mid-December. She was recovering from a stomach virus that had left her severely dehydrated and fainted. Doctors diagnosed the concussion on Dec. 13, forcing Clinton to cancel a planned trip to North Africa and the Middle East.

She also was scheduled to testify before Congress on Dec. 20 about the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, but she canceled the appearance.

The move prompted several conservative commentators to suggest she was faking the seriousness of her condition to avoid having to testify over the Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attack. The State Department vehemently denied that was the case.

The location of Clinton's blood clot was not initially disclosed on Sunday, driving social media speculation about its location and severity.

Clots in the legs are a common risk for the bedridden, as Clinton may have been after her concussion. Those are "no big deal" and are treated with blood thinners, Dr. Gholam Motamedi, a neurologist at Georgetown University Medical Center who is not involved in Clinton's care, told The Associated Press.

But a clot in a lung or the brain is more serious. Lung clots, called pulmonary embolisms, can be deadly, and brain clots can cause a stroke, Motamedi said.

Clinton also had a blood clot in 1998, while she was in New York fundraising for the midterm elections. A swollen right foot led her doctor to diagnose a clot in her knee.

-- With The Associated Press

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