US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has left a New York hospital, three days after doctors discovered a blood clot in her head.
Mrs Clinton’s medical team advised her last night that she was making good progress on all fronts and said they were confident she would make a full recovery, said the former first lady’s spokesman Philippe Reines.
Doctors had been treating Mrs Clinton, 65, with blood thinners to dissolve a clot in a vein that runs through the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear.
“She’s eager to get back to the office,” Mr Reines said, adding that the secretary and her family were grateful for the excellent care she received at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
He said details of when she would return to work would be clarified in the coming days.
Mrs Clinton had been in the hospital since Sunday, when doctors discovered the clot on an MRI test during a follow-up exam stemming from concussion she suffered earlier in December. She fainted while at home battling a stomach virus, fell and struck her head.
“Grateful my Mom discharged from the hospital and is heading home,” her daughter Chelsea said on Twitter. “Even more grateful her medical team (is) confident she’ll make a full recovery.”
Earlier yesterday, the State Department said Mrs Clinton had been speaking by telephone with staff in Washington and reviewing paperwork in hospital.
“She’s been quite active on the phone with all of us,” said department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Before being released from hospital, Mrs Clinton was photographed getting into a black van with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, Chelsea and a security contingent, to be taken elsewhere on the sprawling hospital campus. The last time Mrs Clinton had been seen publicly was on December 7.
Her doctors said on Monday that there was no neurological damage but that they planned to keep her in the hospital while they established the proper dose for the blood thinners. They said she had been in good spirits and was engaging with doctors, family and aides.
Sidelined by her illness for most of December, Mrs Clinton was absent on December 21 when President Barack Obama nominated Democratic senator John Kerry to succeed her when she steps down at the start of Mr Obama’s second term, as had long been planned.
The illness also forced to cancel scheduled evidence before Congress about a scathing report into the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, although she could still testify in the future.
“She has said that she is open” to going before Congress, Ms Nuland said yesterday. “We are working with them now on their schedule, because there’s also a question of when they are going to be in.”
Mrs Clinton had expected to return to work this week and had already started to resume regular phone contact with her foreign counterparts. On Saturday, the day before the clot was discovered, she had a half-hour conversation with Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations envoy to Syria, in which they discussed the state of affairs in that country.
That day she also spoke by telephone to Qatari prime minister and foreign minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, discussing recent developments in Syria, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.
The illness has also raised questions about Mrs Clinton’s political future and how her health might influence her decision about whether to run for president in 2016, as prominent Democrats have been urging her to consider.
She suffered from a blood clot in 1998, midway through her husband’s second term as president, although that clot was located in a knee.
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