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Cheney Taken to Hospital
After Complaining of Breathlessness

RUPERT CORNWALL / The Independent (UK) 10jan2006

 

 

graphic by gφttlich -- Cheney Taken to Hospital After Complaining of Breathlessness RUPERT CORNWALL / The Independent (UK) 10jan2006

Mindfully.org note:

With body full of bile, his breath is short and his heart is failing. At such an age, one would expect he'd have found enlightenment. However, the outlook isn't bright for either.

More on Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney spent more than four hours in hospital yesterday after complaining of shortness of breath — a scare that briefly rekindled concerns about the health of the most powerful US vice-president in modern times.

After being rushed to the George Washington hospital at 3am, Mr Cheney was given heart tests and treatment for water retention before being released at 7.30am.

"He's doing fine," President George Bush told reporters during a visit to a suburban school yesterday, adding that the Vice-President would be back at work in the afternoon.

Mr Cheney has a long history of heart troubles, including at least four heart attacks since 1978. He has had quadruple bypass surgery, and two angioplasties to clear arteries. He also wears a pacemaker. Last September he had two small operations to treat aneurysms in both knees.

But the latest problem apparently relates not to his heart but to anti-inflammatory medicaments he was taking for a foot problem.

Last week he caused a small stir when he appeared in public with a cane, and wearing a slipper on the affected foot. Doctors say that such drugs can cause retention of fluid, which can settle in the lung, causing shortness of breath.

Even so, any question about Mr Cheney's health generates the closest scrutiny. Polls may show he is the least popular member of the Bush administration. But he continues to exercise vast influence across government, even following the resignation of his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was indicted in the CIA leak affair, and the controversy generated by his seeming refusal to eschew the use of torture against terrorist suspects.

Mr Cheney would take over from Mr Bush if the latter died or was incapacitated. So powerful is the Vice-President that, the joke used to run, Mr Bush himself was the proverbial "heart beat from the presidency" should anything happen to Mr Cheney.

Dick Cheney spent more than four hours in hospital yesterday after complaining of shortness of breath — a scare that briefly rekindled concerns about the health of the most powerful US vice-president in modern times.

After being rushed to the George Washington hospital at 3am, Mr Cheney was given heart tests and treatment for water retention before being released at 7.30am.

"He's doing fine," President George Bush told reporters during a visit to a suburban school yesterday, adding that the Vice-President would be back at work in the afternoon.

Mr Cheney has a long history of heart troubles, including at least four heart attacks since 1978. He has had quadruple bypass surgery, and two angioplasties to clear arteries. He also wears a pacemaker. Last September he had two small operations to treat aneurysms in both knees.

But the latest problem apparently relates not to his heart but to anti-inflammatory medicaments he was taking for a foot problem. Last week he caused a small stir when he appeared in public with a cane, and wearing a slipper on the affected foot. Doctors say that such drugs can cause retention of fluid, which can settle in the lung, causing shortness of breath.

Even so, any question about Mr Cheney's health generates the closest scrutiny. Polls may show he is the least popular member of the Bush administration. But he continues to exercise vast influence across government, even following the resignation of his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was indicted in the CIA leak affair, and the controversy generated by his seeming refusal to eschew the use of torture against terrorist suspects.

Mr Cheney would take over from Mr Bush if the latter died or was incapacitated. So powerful is the Vice-President that, the joke used to run, Mr Bush himself was the proverbial "heart beat from the presidency" should anything happen to Mr Cheney.

source: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article337551.ece 9jan2006


Vice President Cheney's Medical History

AP 9jan2006

 

A summary of Vice President Dick Cheney's medical problems:


Cheney Released After Brief Hospital Stay

JENNIFER LOVEN / AP 9jan2006

 

WASHINGTON — Medication that Dick Cheney was taking for a foot problem caused fluid retention that in turned caused shortness of breath, resulting in a brief but not serious hospital stay early Monday for the vice president, his office said.

Cheney was taken to the hospital at 3 a.m. EST. About four and a half hours later, he headed for home — walking out of the hospital without the use of a cane and carrying coffee and a newspaper. By mid-afternoon, the vice president was at the White House attending meetings and following his regular schedule, Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said.

"He's feeling well," she said.

The 64-year-old vice president has a long history of mostly heart-related health problems — four heart attacks, though none since he became vice president in 2001; quadruple bypass surgery to clear clogged arteries; two artery-clearing angioplasties; and an operation to implant a pacemaker. But doctors determined from an unchanged EKG, or electrocardiogram, that the shortness of breath was related instead to anti-inflammatory drugs he was taking for a foot problem, McBride said.

Despite repeated requests for information, it took more than six hours after the vice president left the hospital for his office to provide details on the foot ailment, described as a recurring problem that forced him to use a cane on Friday and was the source of Monday's trouble.

Cheney has been diagnosed as having tendinitis that occasionally causes pain in his left heel. But doctors have different opinions about occasional inflammation the vice president experiences in the joint of the big toe of his left foot, McBride said.

Some doctors suggest it could be gout, though Cheney doesn't suffer from the intense bouts of discomfort that are the hallmark of the painful condition often associated with rich diets. Other doctors say osteoarthritis is the cause, McBride said. A medical statement in 2000 said Cheney had suffered several minor episodes of gout of the foot.

The foot condition was not related to surgery Cheney had last September to repair aneurysms behind both of his knees, said McBride.

Aides would never say which medication the vice president had been taking for the pain.

But a side effect of commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs — both over-the-counter and prescription — is fluid retention, which can cause swelling and shortness of breath and strain the heart muscle.

Cheney was placed on a diuretic at the hospital and recovered, McBride said. Dr. Stuart Seides, associate cardiology director at Washington Hospital Center, said the vice president should suffer no lasting harm from the episode.

"His health is good," said President Bush, who was notified of Cheney's hospitalization early Monday morning and spoke with the vice president by phone after his release.

Cheney began a daily exercise program in 2000 and started eating healthier. He quit smoking in 1978 and takes medication to lower his cholesterol.

Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, bluntly said that the president was "absolutely" not considering replacing Cheney because of the vice president's health issues.

source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-5534241,00.html 9jan2006


U.S. Vice-President Cheney Hospitalized 

CTV News (Canada) 9jan2006

 

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney was hospitalized for several hours at George Washington University Hospital early Monday after suffering shortness of breath, the White House said.

The vice president left the hospital after about four hours, aides said.

The problem is believed to be associated with medicine that Cheney is taking for a foot problem.

"His doctors found that his EKG was unchanged and determined that he was retaining fluid as a result of anti-inflammatory medication he has been taking for a foot problem," a statement from Cheney's office said Monday. "They have placed him on a diuretic."

The vice president, 64, is believed to be suffering a recurring osteoarthritis problem in his left foot.

Cheney, 64, has a long history of heart problems and has a pacemaker in his chest. The foot ailment forced Cheney to use a cane on Friday.

The foot condition is not believed to be related to surgery Cheney underwent last September to repair aneurysms behind both knees or his lengthy history of heart problems.

He has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest.

source: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060109/cheney_hospital_060109/20060109?hub=CTVNewsAt11 9jan2005


Cheney Treated at Hospital for Shortness of Breath

REUTERS 9jan2006

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was treated at a hospital on Monday for shortness of breath believed to have been triggered by a reaction to medication for a foot ailment, his office said.

President George W. Bush told reporters Cheney was feeling well and expected back at his office later Monday. He had gone to George Washington University Hospital at 3 a.m., spent more than four hours there, then went home for some rest.

"He's doing fine, I talked to him this morning. His health is good. He'll be coming in to work a little later on today," Bush said.

And by afternoon, Cheney was back at the White House and had resumed his regular schedule, his office said.

Cheney, 64, has had four heart attacks. At the hospital, doctors administered an electrocardiogram, a test that monitors the electrical activity of the heart, and "found that it was unchanged," a statement from Cheney's office said.

They determined Cheney was retaining fluid as a result of anti-inflammatory medication he has been taking for a foot problem. The statement said Cheney was placed on a diuretic as treatment.

The vice president's office initially refused to explain what was wrong with Cheney's left foot, first noticed when he had to walk with a cane last week, but a spokeswoman offered an explanation hours after Cheney left the hospital.

"He has occasional bouts with inflammation in his left foot, sometimes in the heel, which has been diagnosed as tendinitis, sometimes in the joint of his big toe, which has not been definitively diagnosed," said spokeswoman Jenny Mayfield.

GOUT A POSSIBILITY

She said gout was a possibility but it was not definite.

"Some doctors have suggested it might be gout, but he does not suffer from the acute pain usually associated with gout, nor does he have raised levels of uric acid in his blood, which is also associated with gout.

"Other doctors have suggested that osteoarthritis is the cause," Mayfield said.

A Washington podiatrist, Dr. Stephen Pribut, said that based on Cheney's symptoms he might have gout but quite often foot ailments like this are symptomatic of a mechanical problem that can be treated with shoe inserts called orthotics.

"The problem is the foot problem is harder to diagnose than you think," Pribut said. "I think people go into it with preconceived notions and don't check the entire joint from top to bottom."

The problem forced Cheney to walk with a cane during a trip to Kansas City, Missouri, Friday and at the time Cheney joked that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had been "chewing on my ankles."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said it was "absolutely" expected Cheney's health was such that he would be able to serve as vice president for Bush's three remaining years in office. "The vice president is doing a great job on behalf of the American people and is a very important member of the team," McClellan said.

Cheney has had a variety of health problems. His fourth heart attack, a mild one, took place shortly after the contested presidential race in November 2000.

He had a defibrillator implanted in his chest in 2001 to help regulate his heartbeat. And he had surgery to treat aneurysms behind both knees in September 2005.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/politics/politics-cheney-hospital.html?pagewanted=print 9jan2006


Cheney Hospitalized, Expected to Return Home Today

AP 9jan2006

 

WASHINGTON — Medication that Dick Cheney was taking for a foot problem caused fluid retention that in turned caused shortness of breath, resulting in a brief but not serious hospital stay early Monday for the vice president, his office said.

Cheney was taken to George Washington University Hospital at 3 a.m. EST. About four and a half hours later, he headed for home — walking out of the hospital without the use of a cane and carrying coffee and a newspaper. By mid-afternoon, the vice president was at the White House attending meetings and following his regular schedule, Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said.

"He's feeling well," she said.

The 64-year-old vice president has a long history of mostly heart-related health problems — four heart attacks, though none since he became vice president in 2001; quadruple bypass surgery to clear clogged arteries; two artery-clearing angioplasties; and an operation to implant a pacemaker. But doctors determined from an unchanged EKG, or electrocardiogram, that the shortness of breath was related instead to anti-inflammatory drugs he was taking for a foot problem, McBride said.

Despite repeated requests for information, it took more than six hours after the vice president left the hospital for his office to provide details on the foot ailment, described as a recurring problem that forced him to use a cane on Friday and was the source of Monday's trouble.

Cheney has been diagnosed as having tendinitis that occasionally causes pain in his left heel. But doctors have different opinions about occasional inflammation the vice president also experiences in the joint of the big toe of his left foot, McBride said.

Some doctors suggest it could be gout, though Cheney doesn't suffer from the intense bouts of discomfort that are the hallmark of the painful condition often associated with rich diets. Other doctors say osteoarthritis is the cause, McBride said. A medical statement in 2000 said Cheney had suffered several minor episodes of gout of the foot.

The foot condition was not related to surgery Cheney had last September to repair aneurysms behind both of his knees, said McBride.

Aides would never say which medication the vice president had been taking for the pain.

But a side effect of commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs — both over-the-counter and prescription — is fluid retention, which can cause swelling and shortness of breath and strain the heart muscle.

Cheney was placed on a diuretic at the hospital and recovered, McBride said. Dr. Stuart Seides, the associate cardiology director at Washington Hospital Center, said the vice president should suffer no lasting harm from the episode. He did not treat Cheney.

"His health is good," said President Bush, who was notified of Cheney's hospitalization early Monday morning and spoke with the vice president by phone after his release.

Cheney began a daily exercise program in 2000 and started eating healthier. He quit smoking in 1978 and takes medication to lower his cholesterol.

Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, bluntly said that the president was "absolutely" not considering replacing Cheney because of the vice president's health issues.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/national-cheney-hospital.html?pagewanted=print 9jan2006

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