How Is Bernie Sanders’ Health for the Debate after His Heart Attack?


After experiencing a heart attack recently, Bernie Sanders is back on the campaign trail. But will he be in the Democratic debate tonight? Yes he will, and his health is much improved after his time in the hospital. Here are the details.

Bernie Sanders Is Doing Well after Recovering from His Heart Attack

Bernie Sanders, 78, had temporarily canceled his upcoming campaign events after checking into the hospital for chest discomfort on October 2, but now he’s back on the campaign trail and planning to be in tonight’s Democratic debate. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will be standing in the center, and Bernie Sanders will be right next to them as the next highest polling candidate and the leading candidate in individual donors.

In a statement, Sanders’ senior adviser, Jeff Weaver, said when Sanders first went into the hospital: “During a campaign event … Sen. Sanders experienced some chest discomfort. Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two sents were successfully inserted. Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits.”

A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube that is left in permanently and helps prop open an artery, The American Heart Association explains. It’s typically used after a coronary artery narrows from fatty deposits and reduces blood flow.  Stents help re-open that blood flow and lower the chance of having another heart attack. Using stents is actually fairly common today. It improves a patient’s health and reduces the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

On Friday, October 4, Sanders was released from the hospital.

At the time, the campaign was already assuring everyone that Sanders planned to be in the debate.

Sanders’ doctors, Arturo E. Marchand Jr., MD and Arjun Gururaj, MD, released the following statement after his release:

After presenting to an outside facility with chest pain, Sen. Sanders was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction. He was immediately transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. The Senator was stable upon arrival and taken immediately to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, at which time two stents were placed in a blocked coronary artery in a timely fashion. All other arteries were normal.  His hospital course was uneventful with good expected progress. He was discharged with instructions to follow up with his personal physician.

A myocardial infarction is another term for a heart attack. So yes, Sanders did have a heart attack in early October. But he’s since greatly improved and is already back on the campaign trail.

He told reporters on October 13 that he ignored some signs that something was wrong, and he regretted doing that, The Hill reported. He said: “I must confess, I was dumb. During this campaign, I’ve been doing, in some cases three or four rallies a day, running all over the state — Iowa, New Hampshire, wherever. And yet I, in the last month or two, just was more fatigued than I usually have been.”

Around that same time Sanders said he planned to slow down, but Sanders later corrected that comment, The Guardian reported. He said he misspoke, adding: “We’re going to get back into the groove of a very vigorous campaign. I love doing rallies and I love doing town meetings.”

Sanders also said about his health: “People should think that I had a procedure which hundreds of thousands of people a year have. People should think that according to the doctors, I’m on the way to a full recovery,” The New York Times reported.

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