Politics, Sci-Tech

All’s well that ends well (hopefully): Bill Clinton’s big heart emergency

By Branko Brkic 12 February 2010

Once famed for his hankering for chart-busting fast-food snacks after trademark power jogs, then for the near-inevitable quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004, former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized on Thursday to have two stents inserted into a clogged heart artery after he complained of chest pains.

Stent insertions have become increasingly commonplace as treatments for blocked heart arteries and doctors say Clinton should be released from the hospital on Friday and then should be able to return to work on Monday. Clinton is now the UN’s lead on Haitian relief efforts and a Clinton advisor said the former president was “in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts.” True to his workaholic form, Clinton apparently took part in a telephonic conference call on Haitian earthquake relief – even as he was being wheeled into the operating theatre at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Clinton’s earlier heart surgery took place at the same hospital.

Instead of trying to open the now-blocked bypass, his doctors reopened one of his original blocked arteries and inserted two stents in the originally blocked artery. The procedure took about an hour and Clinton was able to get up two hours later, his doctor said. Nearly 1 in 5 patients who have these procedures previously had a bypass operation such as Clinton’s, according to the American College of Cardiology’s patient registry.

By J. Brooks Spector

For more, read the New York Times and AP

Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) is flanked by secret service agents as she enters the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital where her husband, former President Bill Clinton is hospitalized in New York February 11, 2010. Hillary Clinton, who was scheduled to travel to the Middle East, has delayed her departure by a day. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Main photo: Cardiologist Dr. Alan Schwartz addresses reporters about the condition of Former US President Bill Clinton who was hospitalized earlier today, outside the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital is seen in New York February 11, 2010. Clinton was recovering well on Thursday from a successful procedure to open a blocked artery in his heart after he had experienced chest discomfort, his doctor said. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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