KY Governor In Hospital With Blood Clot

    March 10, 2006

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher, 53, remained in the hospital on Friday, recovering from a blood clot removal. Doctors dissolved about 95% of the potentially deadly clot from a vein between the upper left arm and his chest.

The governor was treated for the clot at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington just days after recovering from gallbladder surgery, pancreatitis and a blood infection that kept him in the hospital for almost three weeks.

During the procedure to remove the clot, gubernatorial powers were transferred to Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, who was in Florida on a personal trip at the time. Pence said he expected the powers to go back to Fletcher some time today.

According to Fletcher spokesman Brett Hall, the governor awoke on Thursday morning with pain in his left arm. He said the arm was swollen and discolored. Fletcher, being a doctor, immediately recognized the signs as a blood clot.

The clot could’ve been quite deadly to the Kentucky governor. Dr. Dale Absher, the interventional radiologist who performed the procedure described the clot as “medium-sized,” and running “from the middle of the vein in the middle of the chest back over to the arm – and there was some in the jugular vein.”

Fletcher had contacted infectious disease specialist Dr. Charles Kennedy, describing his symptoms. Kennedy confirmed the clot and sent him to St. Joseph’s. Kennedy told the Courier Journal of Louisville that this was a “routine procedure when patients are administered very potent, clot-busting drugs.”

The governor is expected to make a complete recovery. Doctors say the clot is no longer at risk for going to the governor’s heart and lungs.

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John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.