Bill Clinton Expected to Be Discharged From Hospital on Sunday
A spokesperson for former President Bill Clinton said late Saturday that the 75-year-old will be discharged from a California hospital on Sunday, CNN reported. Clinton was hospitalized at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, in Orange, earlier in the week after developing sepsis triggered by a urological infection.
Speaking on Twitter on Saturday, spokesperson Angel Ureña said Clinton "continued to make excellent progress. He will remain overnight at UC Irvine Medical Center to continue to receive IV antibiotics before an expected discharge tomorrow."
Clinton has been kept at the hospital because the type of antibiotic needed to treat the urinary tract infection that's causing the sepsis needs to be delivered intravenously rather than in pill form, CNN reported.
Sepsis occurs when the body has an extreme response to an infection, and it can be life-threatening. Infections that can trigger sepsis most often start in the lung, urinary tract, skin or gastrointestinal tract. Without timely treatment, sepsis can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death, but an aide to the former president said Thursday that Clinton's sepsis was not acute.
Clinton's doctors issued a statement on his condition, saying he "had received IV antibiotics and fluids." Two days after being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, his white blood cell count was trending down and he was "responding to antibiotics well," they noted, adding that they had been in touch with his doctors in New York.
Ureña said Saturday that Clinton "is in great spirits and has been spending time with family, catching up with friends, and watching college football," CNN reported.
Another source told CNN that Clinton is walking around the hospital. "He just went for a walk on the floor, and the hospital staff had to ask him to slow down," the source said.
Although Clinton appears to be on the mend, in some cases sepsis can lead to a potentially deadly condition known as septic shock, defined by dangerously low blood pressure and the inability to adequately fill organs with blood and deliver critical oxygen to tissues, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
"Studies have shown that early recognition and intervention with intravenous fluids and broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics to treat sepsis can be lifesaving," added Glatter, who isn't involved in Clinton's care.
"The fact that [former] President Clinton's vital signs have improved and that his white blood count is now lower demonstrates that he is clinically improving," Glatter stressed. "His prior history of coronary artery disease and prior coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is a factor that could potentially affect the speed of his recovery. Thus far, according to early media reports, he appears to be doing well and responding to fluids and antibiotics."
Clinton had been traveling in California for an event related to his foundation right before he was hospitalized, The New York Times reported.
Roughly 1.7 million Americans develop sepsis every year and nearly 270,000 die as a result, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sepsis begins outside of the hospital in nearly 87 percent of cases.
This is not the first time health issues have landed Clinton in the hospital.
In 2010, he was taken to a New York hospital where doctors inserted two stents into his coronary artery, the Times reported. In 2004, Clinton, who has a family history of heart disease, had quadruple coronary bypass surgery at a New York hospital. The open-heart procedure, which took four hours, came three days after tests prompted by chest pains and shortness of breath revealed he had life-threatening heart disease. Clinton also has a history of skin cancers, cysts, allergies and some hearing problems, the Times reported.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on sepsis.
SOURCE: Robert Glatter, MD, emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; CNN; The New York Times