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Hillary Clinton Is Hospitalized After Exam Finds a Blood Clot

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains hospitalized after doctors discovered a blood clot related to a concussion she sustained earlier this month. Today, the State Department released a statement saying Clinton, who is 65, is making excellent progress and that they're confident she'll make a full recovery. But for more on her condition, we're joined by NPR's Joe Palca. Hi there, Joe.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Hi.

CORNISH: And the information about Secretary Clinton's condition, what did they say about where the clot is?

PALCA: Yes. The doctors - Secretary Clinton's doctors released a statement this afternoon, and it said that she had a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. Now, the technical name for this is a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis. And what it means is there's a clot in the vein that drains blood from the head. And this is likely a result of this fall that she had where she bumped her head and had a concussion, and possibly there was a small bleed at that time, which led to this clot.

CORNISH: And is there a sense how serious something like this is?

PALCA: Well, it's definitely extremely serious. But in this case, the doctors are saying they've got it. It's under control. They know where it is. They discovered it in an MRI over the weekend when Secretary Clinton went into the hospital. And there's a fairly standard method of treating these, which is to use anticoagulants. These are things that make the blood - they call them blood thinners essentially. It makes it easier - less likely that blood clots will form and also begins to dissolve ones that have formed. And so they'll - they've given her this medication, and now it's a question of balancing and getting it to the right level. But this will slowly dissolve and hopefully go away completely.

CORNISH: And what have you learned about how Secretary Clinton is feeling?

PALCA: Well, her doctors say she's in good spirits. She's engaging with her doctors. She's engaging with her family and her staff. So it sounds like she is doing OK in this circumstance.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Joe Palca. Joe, thanks so much for speaking with us.

PALCA: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, geopolitics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.
Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.

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