LAS VEGAS (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, his campaign confirmed on Friday as the Vermont senator was released from a Nevada hospital.
The 78-year-old was at a campaign event on Tuesday when he experienced chest discomfort and was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart attack.
The senator was transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Centre, where doctors inserted two stents to open up a blocked artery in his heart, according to a statement from the Las Vegas doctors.
The doctors, Arturo Marchand Jr and Arjun Gururaj, said the rest of his arteries were normal.
A blocked artery can cause a heart attack, which means that an area of the heart is suffering and in danger of damage because it’s not getting enough blood or oxygen. An artery-opening procedure like the one Sanders had, and placing stents, which are tiny scaffolds to keep the artery open, restores blood flow and helps prevent future problems.
The statements from Sanders and his doctors do not indicate whether his heart suffered any permanent damage, or the extent of any. The sooner blood flow is restored, the better the chance of survival without damage, which is why heart experts urge anyone thinking they might be having a heart attack to call 911.
The doctors said the rest of his stay before being discharged on Friday was “uneventful with good expected progress”. The campaign also released
a statement from Sanders where he thanked the doctors, nurses and hospital staff.
“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,” he said.