Blood on brain, rest ordered for Argentine leader

Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina. Photo / AP
Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina. Photo / AP

Doctors ordered a month's rest for Argentina's president on Saturday after they found blood on her brain due to a head injury.

President Cristina Fernandez's spokesman issued a statement Saturday night saying she had suffered a previously undisclosed blow to the head on August 12.

Spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro read the statement signed by the president's doctors saying they did a CAT scan of her brain after the head injury in August and found nothing wrong, and that afterward she had no symptoms.

The statement said problems surfaced Saturday after Fernandez, 60, went to a hospital for checks on an irregular heartbeat. Because she was suffering headaches, they looked at her skull again, too, and found a subdural hematoma.

That means bleeding between the brain and the skull. The statement defined it as "chronic" and not "acute," which suggests that it has been slowly building over time.

"The president had a cardiovascular study done in the Fundacion Favaloro and given that she had head pain, they did neurological studies, diagnosing a 'chronic subdural collection' (bleeding on the brain), and they ordered her to rest for a month," said the statement, which was signed by the president's doctors, Luis Buonomo and Marcelo Ballesteros.

The statement added that the neurological evaluation was done by Dr. Facundo Manes, and that during her month's rest, they will keep close watch on how the bleeding evolves.

August 12 was one day after Argentina held primary elections in which Fernandez's opponents made significant gains.

If Fernandez follows doctors' orders, she won't be able to campaign for her allies ahead of key congressional midterm elections on Oct. 27 that will determine whether the ruling Front for Victory party holds onto enough seats to enable her to continue ruling largely by decree.

In January of 2012, Fernandez had her thyroid gland removed, but tests showed no presence of any cancerous cells.

- AP

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