Bernie Sanders, 78, is STILL in the hospital and canceling events after having two stents inserted in a blocked artery – but his wife insists he’ll be at Oct. 15 debate
- Sanders called off appearances in South Carolina last month in the wake of a Democratic primary debate where his voice sounded strained
- Now his campaign has canceled events because he was hospitalized for a blocked artery that required two stents
- Now his wife says he is still in the Las Vegas hospital and might leave by the end of the weekend; but he plans to be on the debate stage in Ohio in 12 days
- Sanders showed up at campaign events in March with a bandaged head after his campaign said he cut himself on a glass shower door
- The 78-year-old Vermont senator is the oldest person in the 2020 field and would be 83 at the end of his first term if he were to win the White House
- Jimmy Carter, 95, said last month that there should be an age limit, and he couldn’t have handled the job at age 80
- Hillary Clinton caused worry among Democrats in 2016 after collapsing at a 9/11 memorial service and wearing special glasses during a congressional hearing
By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn’t left the hospital since Tuesday night, and is still recovering from an operation to place two stents in a blocked artery.
But the 78-year-old socialist firebrand, the oldest person in the 2020 field, plans to be on stage for a Democratic presidential primary debate on October 15 in Ohio.
‘Bernie is up and about, his wife Jane said in a statement. ‘Yesterday, he spent much of the day talking with staff about policies, cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors, and speaking with his family on the phone.’
‘His doctors are pleased with his progress, and there has been no need for any additional procedures,’ she said. ‘We expect Bernie will be discharged and on a plane back to Burlington before the end of the weekend. He’ll take a few days to rest, but he’s ready to get back out there and is looking forward to the October debate.’
Sanders canceled a string of presidential campaign events on Wednesday after suffering what a spokesman said was ‘chest discomfort’ that required the stents.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured Sunday at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., hasn’t left a Las Vegas hospital where he was treated for a blokced artery on Tuesday night.
Sanders’ wife Jane (at right) said the senator has been cracking jokes with doctors and nurses, and speaking to family members on the phone, but isn’t expected to leave the hospital for a few more days
The 78-year-old presidential candidate, the oldest in the 2020 field, will have to take it easy but expects to be home in Vermont by the end of the weekend
AGES OF THE 2020 CANDIDATES ON INAUGURATION DAY
As of September 20, 2019 there were 22 declared major party candidates in the 2020 presidential election, including 19 Democrats and three Republicans.
Here is the age each of them would be on Inauguration Day 2021 if he or she were to win:
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 79 years, 4 months, 13 days
- Former Vice President Joe Biden: 78 years, 2 months, 1 day
- Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R): 75 years, 5 months, 21 days
- President Donald Trump (R): 74 years, 7 months, 7 days
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 71 years, 6 months, 30 days
- Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak: 69 years, 1 month, 9 days
- Author Marianne Williamson: 68 years, 6 months, 13 days
- Billionaire activist Tom Steyer: 63 years, 6 months, 26 days
- Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 60 years, 7 months, 27 days
- Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh (R): 59 years, 25 days
- Maryland Rep. John Delaney: 57 years, 9 months, 5 days
- California Sen. Kamala Harris: 56 years, 3 months, 1 day
- Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet: 56 years, 1 month, 25 days
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock: 54 years, 9 months, 11 days
- New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker: 51 years, 8 months, 25 days
- Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke: 48 years, 3 months, 26 days
- Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan: 47 years, 6 months, 5 days
- Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam: 46 years, 7 months, 14 days
- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro: 46 years, 4 month, 5 days
- Entrepreneur Andrew Yang: 46 years, 8 days
- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: 39 years, 9 months, 9 days
- South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 39 years, 2 days
Senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement Wednesday that ‘[f]ollowing medical evaluation and testing he was found to have blockage in one artery and two stents were inserted.’
‘Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days, Weaver added. ‘We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.’
Sanders updated his supporters on Wednesday and took the opportunity to tout his single-payer ‘Medicare for All’ proposal.
‘Thanks for all the well wishes,’ he wrote. ‘I’m feeling good. I’m fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover. None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!’
The Sanders campaign on Wednesday also canceled at least $1.3 million in ad spending that was scheduled to buy time on Iowa television and radio stations.
Sanders released a doctor’s note during the 2016 presidential campaign saying that he had no history of heart disease and was otherwise in good health.
U.S. doctors insert about 2 million stents per year into patients, according to Harvard Medical School. It’s a procedure the American Heart Association describes as ‘fairly common’ and says carries fewer complication risks than open-heart bypass surgery.
But the American Medical Association issued a report in 2013 that included stenting among the most highly ‘overused’ medical treatments.
Sanders has canceled campaign events before.
His campaign called off appearances in South Carolina last month in the wake of a Democratic primary debate where his voice sounded strained.
Sanders updated his supporters on Wednesday and took the opportunity to tout the single-payer ‘Medicare for All’ proposal.
Bernie Sanders alternated between gruff and gleeful during a public campaign event Monday in Hooksett, new Hampshire
Democratic presidential candidates have had campaign health scares before: Hillary Clinton raised fears in 2016, collapsing at a 9/11 memorial event in New York City
In March he showed up at South Carolina campaign events with a bandaged head after treatment for what his campaign said was a cut that he suffered in the shower.
He received a half-dozen stitches at a walk-in medical clinic.
The cantankerous senator would be 83 years old at the end of his first term in office if he were to win the White House.
Former President Jimmy Carter, who turned 95 this week, said in September that ‘I hope there’s an age limit’ for the presidency.
‘If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president,’ he said.
WHAT IS A STENT? AND WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET MORE THAN ONE AT A TIME?
by Mia de Graaf, US Health Editor
Stents hold arteries open to help improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain.
Past president of the American Heart Association, Dr Sidney Smith, MD, told DailyMail.com how stents work and when they are placed.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
A stent is a wire mesh tube that props open arteries.
To open the narrowed artery, the surgeon may perform what’s known as an angioplasty.
It involves making a small incision in a patient’s arm or leg, through which a wire with an attached deflated balloon is thread through up to the coronary arteries.
In some cases, this is all that’s needed to break up the blockage, without putting any permanent artery-openers in place.
Surgeons will sometimes put in a stent, however, to keep the arteries held open.
The stent surrounds the balloon and expands with it when it is inflated.
After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent stays in the artery permanently.
A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open
HOW COMMON IS IT?
Angioplasties are increasingly common in the United States and Mexico due to rising rates of heart issues.
And stents are becoming increasingly common in angioplasty patients, since it is very common for the arteries to narrow again if nothing is put in place (this is known as restenosis, and happens in about a third of cases).
CAN IT BE PERFORMED DAYS OR WEEKS AFTER A HEART ATTACK?
Yes, depending on what kind of heart attack was suffered.
There are two kinds of blockages: a STEMI (which is a complete blockage) and an NSTEMI (a partial blockage).
STEMI stands for ‘ST-elevation myocardial infarction’, which means the patient has suffered cardiac enzyme changes, and changes to their electrical heart activity, as seen on an EKG scan.
A non-STEMI heart attack, or NSTEMI heart attack, is less urgent. It means they suffered enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG.
‘A STEMI is a very big, severe heart attack where a patient comes into the emergency room and the artery is totally blocked, and needs to be opened up straight away and the stent is placed,’ Dr Smith, Professor of Medicine, Cardiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, explained.
‘That’s the patient that goes direct into surgery.’
‘In other cases, the patient may have a non-STEMI. They may have chest pain, and they come into the hospital with enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG [electrical activity of the heart]. The need is not urgent. Stents are placed but it can be days later.’
WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET MORE THAN ONE STENT AT A TIME?
It depends how many blockages they had, or how many vessels were affected.
‘The decision to place stents in the coronary arteries is based on the number of significant blockages that’s there,’ Dr Smith explained.
‘Three is not out of the ordinary. Sometimes you place just one, sometimes two or three – it completely depends.
‘You place stents where there is a significant blockage. It could be that there were two or three vessels involved, or three blockages in one vessel. That would warrant three stents.’
He adds that the amount of blockages has nothing to do with the severity of the heart attack, or whether it would be a STEMI or NSTEMI.
HOW IS THE RECOVERY?
For patients being treated for chest pain, most are usually able to go home the same day of the operation. Patients are often advised to avoid strenuous activities and driving for at least a week.
But Dr Smith said it depends on each patient, and particularly on whether they have other underlying health issues.
‘It depends on how well their heart is pumping,’ Dr Smith said.
‘Patients are often able to go home within 24 hours, usually into cardiac rehabilitation.’
As for the patient taking a trans-Atlantic flight, Dr Smith said that would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.
‘It depends on how they’re doing, and how long the flight is,’ he said.
- Any reader who thinks they may be suffering a heart attack, or may have suffered one, should never diagnose themselves. Always call 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack. The EMS crew in your ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location