Reid Suffers Slight Stroke

Posted August 19, 2005 at 9:22pm

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was hospitalized earlier this week in Las Vegas after being struck by a slight stroke.

The transient ischemic attack caused no complications, said Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen, who noted that the Nevada Democrat would be at work in September when Congress returns from its month-long summer recess.

“He is feeling fine and there are no restrictions on his activity,” said Hafen. Reid is currently with his family in Las Vegas, where his children reside, she said.

Reid was taken from his home in Searchlight to a Las Vegas hospital Tuesday “after experiencing light-headedness,” Hafen said. Doctors determined Reid suffered from a TIA, which “is a transient stroke that lasts only a few minutes [and] occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted,” according to a description posted on the Web site for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

NINDS, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, states that TIA symptoms can “occur suddenly [and] are similar to those of stroke, but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist up to 24 hours.”

These stroke-like symptoms can range from “numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion or difficulty in talking or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and difficulty with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.”

NINDS predicts that “about one-third of those who have a TIA will have an acute stroke some time in the future.” Treatment can range from surgery to a regiment of prescription drugs, NINDS states.

A statement released by Reid’s office said that doctors have told the Minority Leader to rest for the remainder of the Congressional recess.

Reid is the second Senate leader in recent years to experience health problems. Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) underwent triple bypass surgery in February 2003 after a stress test showed arterial blockages.