Hillary Clinton admitted to hospital with blood clot

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seen in a December 6, 2012 file photo at Dublin City University in Ireland. KEVIN LAMARQUE/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 7:52 a.m. ET

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital with a blood clot following a concussion she suffered several weeks ago.

Spokesperson Philippe Reines said in a statement that the clot was discovered during the course of a follow-up exam. There has been no announcement yet on the location of the clot.

"She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at New York-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours," Reines said.

Doctors are expected to make a determination shortly about whether any further action is required, Reines said, adding that doctors will continue to assess Clinton's condition, "including other issues associated with her concussion."

Secretary Clinton was expected to return to work next week, almost three weeks after being sidelined by the concussion. She had been recuperating at home.

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.

Clots in the legs are a common risk after someone has been bedridden, as Clinton may have been for a time after her concussion. Those are "no big deal" and 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, Motamedi said.

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook (who says he has not been briefed on the particulars of Clinton's condition, such as the location of the blood clot) says that it is unusual for someone to be given blood thinners after suffering a blow to the head.

"Normally you would not give blood thinners for three months following somebody hitting her head," Dr. LaPook said on "CBS This Morning."

"The reason is when somebody falls and hits their head, you're worried about bleeding into the skull, into the brain, like Natasha Richardson had, so the last thing you would want to do is thin their blood," he said.

Actress Natasha Richardson hit her head while skiing in Quebec in 2009 and later died from bleeding underneath the skull.

Dr. LaPook said Clinton would have had a CAT scan or MRI done following her fall, and that doctors likely observed either no clot or little bleeding, until a follow-up scan.

"At this point the reason to give anti-coagulation, blood thinner, would be to prevent another clot from forming," he said.

Dr. LaPook said there may be other, unknown medical issues that are putting Clinton at increased risk for another clot.

"I'm thinking they're between maybe a rock and a hard place. They want to thin her blood to prevent a further clot, on the other hand they're afraid to give her blood thinners because that could increase bleeding in somebody who's smacked their head recently, so they're going to observe her very closely in the hospital."

Keeping Clinton in the hospital for a couple of days could allow doctors to perform more tests to determine why the clot formed, and to rule out a heart problem or other condition that may have led to it, he said.

Dr. Larry Goldstein, a neurologist who is director of Duke University's stroke center, said blood can pool on the surface of the brain or in other areas of the brain after a concussion, but those would not be treated with blood thinners, as Clinton's aide described.

Aides and doctors say Clinton contracted a stomach virus in early December and became dehydrated, then fainted, fell and hit her head. She was diagnosed with a concussion on Dec. 13 and hasn't been seen in public since.

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