Former President Bill Clinton was released from a California hospital on Sunday after being treated for sepsis.
Clinton, 75, was admitted for care at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, in Orange, last Tuesday after developing sepsis triggered by a urological infection.
A spokesperson for Clinton shared a statement on Twitter from Dr. Alpesh Amin, the chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. Amin had been directing the team of doctors treating Clinton.
Clinton’s “fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return to New York to finish his course of antibiotics,” Amin said in the statement. “On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress.”
Clinton had 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, CNN reported. On Saturday, spokesperson Angel Ureña said on Twitter that Clinton had “continued to make excellent progress.”
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.
Ureña said Saturday that Clinton was “in great spirits and has been spending time with family, catching up with friends, and watching college football,” CNN reported.
Although Clinton’s recovery is typical, 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 wasn’t involved in Clinton’s care.
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.