The blood clot that sent Hillary Clinton to the hospital on Sunday is located between her brain and her skull behind her right ear, it was revealed this afternoon.
The Secretary of State’s doctors say they found the clot in a large vein in her head – though it is in a blood vessel that runs across the surface of her brain and is not in the brain itself.
Doctors said Clinton has suffered no brain damage or stroke and that she is expected to make a full recovery.
‘In all other aspects of her recovery, the Secretary is making excellent progress and we are confident she will make a full recovery. She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff,’ Drs Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi said in a statement.
A clot occurs when a blockage builds up, either from partial thrombus (coagulated blood) or an outside compression. When the vein becomes blocked, the coagulated blood may extend to veins draining the area, which could lead to a lack of oxygen and tissue death.
For Clinton, ‘the particular vein they’re talking about, there are enough other areas for the blood to travel through so it doesn’t build up in the brain,’ Dr Sanjay Gupta told CNN.
The condition can be treated with blood thinners administered over several months until the clot breaks down.
A distraught-looking Chelsea Clinton visited her mother in the hospital this afternoon as she recovered from the clot, which stems from a concussion earlier this months.
The former First Daughter was seen walking out of New York-Presbyterian Hospital looking troubled.
Her mother is likely to ring in the New Year from her hospital suite so her doctors can keep a close eye on her condition.
Clinton, 65, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday and CBS New York reports that doctors want to monitor her for at least another 48 hours.
Doctors are keeping her under their watchful eye as they adjust the dose of her anti-clotting medication.
Chelsea, who was spotted by the New York Daily News, was to first member of Clinton’s family to be seen publicly at the hospital. There is no word on the whereabouts of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Chelsea, 32, a special correspondent for NBC News, looked upset as she left the hospital – cell phone in hand. She ignored questions from a reporter and went back inside.
Aides and doctors say Clinton contracted a stomach virus in early December and became dehydrated, then fainted, fell and hit her head on December 9.
She was diagnosed with a concussion on December 13 and hasn’t been seen in public since.
The seriousness of a blood clot ‘depends on where it is,’ said Dr Gholam Motamedi, a neurologist at Georgetown University Medical Center who was not involved in Clinton’s care.
The new health scare may bring back some painful memories for the former first lady, who suffered a large blood clot in her leg back in 1998.
In a 2007 interview with the New York Daily News, Clinton called the 1998 clot ‘the most significant health scare I’ve ever had.’
Most clots in the legs are treated with six months of blood thinners to allow them to dissolve on their own and to prevent further clots from forming, he said.
A clot in a lung or the brain is more serious. Lung clots, called pulmonary embolisms, can be deadly, and a clot in the brain can cause a stroke.
Clinton’s illness led her to cancel an overseas trip and scheduled testimony before Congress about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
When her absence was reported, several pundits and newspapers accused Clinton of making her illness seem worse than it was to dodge questions from lawmakers over the consulate attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The New York Post called her concussion a ‘head fake.’
Florida Rep Allan West said Clinton had a case of the ‘Benghazi flu,’ while Fox News contributer Charles Krauthammer dubbed it an ‘acute Benghazi allergy.’
Reines said doctors will continue to assess Clinton’s condition, ‘including other issues associated with her concussion.’
Earlier this week, The National Enquirer reported that brain cancer was behind Mrs Clinton’s health problems and that she was facing a barrage of medical tests to confirm the diagnosis.
But a spokesman for the Democrat labelled the claims ‘absolute nonsense’ and insisted Clinton was recovering well from the fall and subsequent concussion.
Only days before her concussion Clinton had said she was in excellent health during an interview with Barbara Walters.
Detractors have claimed Clinton’s advancing age and health make her too old to realistically serve as a two-term president were she elected in 2016.
‘I am, thankfully, knock on wood, not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy,’ Clinton told Barbara Walters.
Clinton has a history of fainting, having experienced a brief spell in in 2005 during an appearance before a women’s group in Buffalo.
The former first lady is expected to step down from her role as Secretary of State in the beginning of 2013 when President Obama begins his second term.
At a State Department press conference in January 2012, she announced that she would be stepping down from the ‘high wire of American politics’ after 20 years as first lady, a senator from New York, and finally U.S. Secretary of State.
She told reporters at the press conference that ‘it would be a good idea to find out how tired I really am.’