Beaumont neurosurgeon talks blood clots - Fox 2 News Headlines

Beaumont neurosurgeon talks blood clots

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Doctors say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make a full recovery after she was hospitalized and treated for a blood clot very close to her brain, but this could have been much worse.

Secretary Clinton's health scare started with a stomach bug that she picked up on a trip to Europe weeks ago. Dehydrated, she fainted and that caused a concussion, which likely caused the clot.

"They really are lucky that they found it because the concern here is if this clot propagates. Unlike the arteries that go to the brain where we have four, we only have two veins that drain the brain, and so if this clot had propagated from the one that it's in and involved the other one, it can be fatal in those situations," said Beaumont neurosurgeon Dr. Daniel Pieper.

Clots like these are uncommon, yet can be deadly causing stroke, bleeding or brain swelling.

"The most common type of blood clot that we heard about is deep vein thrombosis, and what causes that?" I asked Dr. Pieper.

"There [are] a number of things that can cause it. Lack of mobility where the blood tends to settle or become static, so riding in a car long periods or an airplane both can increase it or being in a long surgery. Certain medications can increase it, as well, like birth control pills."

"How do you know if you have a blood clot?" I also asked.

"If you start having significant swelling and significant pain in one leg or the other, especially on a young person that's not prone to other medical problems, that needs to be something that increases you awareness."

This isn't the first time Secretary Clinton has suffered from a blood clot. In 1998, she had a swollen right foot and a blood clot in her knee was to blame. So she might be genetically more at risk for blood clots, which may mean doctors put her on blood thinners.

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