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Sen. John Fetterman's Hospitalization From 'Lightheadedness' Wasn't Another Stroke

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2023 (HealtDay News) -- Sen. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke last May while campaigning for his Senate seat, remains hospitalized after being admitted on Wednesday for lightheadedness, but doctors have ruled out a second stroke.

“Towards the end of the Senate Democratic retreat today, Senator John Fetterman began feeling lightheaded. He left and called his staff, who picked him up and drove him to the George Washington University Hospital,” the senator's communications director Joe Calvello said in a statement.

“The results of the MRI, along with the results of all of the other tests the doctors ran, rule out a new stroke,” Calvello noted on Twitter. “He is being monitored with an EEG for signs of seizure — so far there are no signs of seizure, but he is still being monitored."

Back in May, Fetterman checked himself into a hospital in Lancaster, Pa., several days before the primary. He secured the nomination while in the hospital being treated for his stroke and underwent three hours of surgery during which doctors implanted a defibrillator. He was released from the hospital nine days later.

Fetterman’s cardiologist later issued a statement saying the Democrat suffers from both atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy.

Both conditions can trigger dizziness or lightheadedness, the American Stroke Association said in a statement.

“Lightheadedness, dizziness or issues with balance may be reported by some stroke survivors,” said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, a neurologist and the association's chief clinical science officer. “Feeling lightheaded may also be one symptom of atrial fibrillation (AF or a-fib), the most common type of heart arrhythmia, and cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.”

"Either a-fib or cardiomyopathy may occasionally limit the blood flow to the brain. While it’s treatable, it may be a signal that medications need to be modified or additional interventions are needed," Elkind added. "Lightheadedness is common, however, and can also be a symptom of dehydration, a viral infection or other minor problems. It’s always a good idea to report any symptoms to your doctor and seek immediate attention if symptoms are severe or sudden.”

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on stroke.

SOURCE: American Stroke Association, news release, Feb. 9, 2023


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