Cheney Returns To Hospital For Follow Up Exam In Connection With Blood Clot

Tuesday, March 20th 2007, 11:03 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice President Dick Cheney went back to George Washington University Hospital Tuesday for a follow up examination in connection with a blood clot discovered in his leg.

``He's getting a routine follow up on his leg. It's just a routine checkup,'' said spokeswoman Megan McGinn. She said the vice president returned to the White House before noon.

Just over two weeks ago, doctors discovered a blood clot in the vice president's leg. They said at the time that he likely would have to be treated with blood-thinning medication for several months.

Spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride said at the time that the 66-year-old had visited his doctor's office on March 5 after feeling minor discomfort in his calf. An ultrasound showed the blood clot _ called a deep venous thrombosis _ in his left lower leg.

Blood clots that form deep in the legs can become killers if they break off and float into the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism. Deep vein thrombosis strikes an estimated 2 million Americans each year, killing 60,000.

Many people suffer DVT after spending long periods without moving, such as passengers on long-haul airline flights. Cheney had just spent about 65 hours on a plane on a nine-day, round-the-world trip.

Cheney has had had a host of heart-related problems over the years.

He had six hours of surgery on his legs in 2005 to repair a kind of aneurysm, a ballooning weak spot in an artery that can burst if left untreated. He has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest.