Bernie Sanders Discharged From Hospital After Heart Attack

Wendy Benjaminson

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was discharged from a Nevada hospital on Friday, and his campaign disclosed that he had suffered a heart attack.

Sanders, 78, “was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction,” said his doctors, Arturo E. Marchand and Arun Gururaj, in a statement released by the campaign.

The campaign announced on Wednesday that Sanders, a Vermont senator, was taking time off from the stump because he had suffered chest pains while in Las Vegas for a campaign event. He was admitted to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas and had stents inserted in a blocked artery.

“After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work,” Sanders said in the statement.

He skipped Friday’s candidate forum by the Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles, but his campaign said he would participate in the next Democratic presidential campaign debate on Oct. 15 in Ohio.

Sanders’ wife, Jane, said in a statement issued by the campaign on Thursday that Sanders would “take a few days to rest, but he’s ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate” in Ohio.

Although stents are a routine medical procedure, the treatment could raise questions among some voters about Sanders’ age. He is the oldest of three septuagenarians in the Democratic field, including Joe Biden, 76, and Elizabeth Warren, 70. President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee, is 73.

On Tuesday, the Sanders campaign announced it had raised $25.3 million during the third quarter, a number that made him the top fundraiser among those who have disclosed their totals to date, including Biden and Warren.

Following Biden’s lead, Sanders vowed in September to release his medical records before the Democratic nominating contests begin in February, saying he first had to see a doctor to “have a series of tests.” A doctor’s note he released during the 2016 campaign showed no history of heart disease.

But an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in February showed that 62% of voters had reservations about a presidential candidate over the age of 75.

Last month, Sanders canceled three South Carolina campaign events to rest his voice. During the third Democratic debate in Houston, Sanders’ voice was raspy and his campaign said it was the result of a “vigorous campaign schedule.”

More than a million Americans are treated with stents each year to clear clogged arteries, a common problem that develops over decades as fatty plaque builds up and chokes off blood supply to the heart.

Stents are tiny metal cylinders that are snaked into a clogged artery, then expanded to keep the vessel open and allow blood to flow freely. Most patients receive more than one stent during an artery-clearing procedure. They are often released from the hospital the same day or the day after the procedure, and they can return to normal activities within a few days or a week.

Stents are often used instead of open heart surgery, where another vein is sewn into place to bypass the clogged artery, in patients who are suffering from clogged arteries and the chest pain known as angina that often accompanies the condition.

(Updates with Sanders statement, other details, starting in fourth paragraph)

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