HealthZette

Hillary Has Trouble with a Single Step

Candidate appears to need assistance with her footing, and maybe her balance, during Florida campaign stop

The ongoing care and close, watchful eye that Hillary Clinton apparently needs during her campaign travels was apparent Wednesday at a campaign stop in Lake Worth, Florida.

As Clinton approached a very small stage to greet a crowd outside Palm Beach State College, her aides — including the yet-to-be identified man who is always spotted with her — were seen rushing to help her make it up the one step she needed to climb.

Someone stretches out a hand — which Hillary grasps as she takes the single step onto the small platform.

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The team then appears concerned she might fall or lose her balance. They stand closely behind her and appear to reach out to her a couple of times as Clinton waves to the crowd in front of her.

“It’s a good idea for her to take precautions against falls,” said Dr. Jane Orient, a Tucson, Arizona-based internist and executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). “It could be very serious in a patient on anticoagulation with past head trauma. She has had evidence of balance problems for a long time.”

Speaking from both professional and personal experience, Dr. Gerard Gianoli, a physician in private practice in Covington, Louisiana, and a faculty member at Tulane University School of Medicine, agreed.

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“Both my father and my uncle had epidural hematomas [bleeding between the skull and the covering of the brain] from minor head bumps. In both cases, they were on aspirin and Plavix — both are anti-platelet medications and relatively mild anticoagulants compared to what Hillary Clinton is taking. She’s on Coumadin, which is stronger and the risk for hemorrhage higher.”

Gianoli added, “Since I deal with a lot of elderly patients who have balance problems, I am always a bit nervous if they have been on Coumadin. Taking precautions to help her up and down stairs would be a minimum that I would recommend. If I were her adviser, in fact, I would recommend that anytime she is standing for any length of time that she have some pedestal to hold onto in order to help stabilize her balance. It would go a long way in preventing falls.”

Related: The Most Important Question Hillary Clinton Must Still Answer

The Clinton campaign continues to deny any ongoing serious health issues that Hillary might have, despite her team doing exactly as a physician just recommended — making sure she typically has a podium at her events and press conferences. Her closest advisers have also referred to her as not being “perfect in the head” — according to emails just released by WikiLeaks. They seem to meticulously plan when it might be best for her to speak at events or with reporters, based on that capacity.

Orient, however, along with a number of other physicians, believes it’s Clinton’s eye movement problems, evident especially as she’s made more appearances in recent months, that are more concerning. These could indicate serious underlying health issues, suggested Orient and others.