Former President Bill Clinton Gets Two Stents in Coronary Artery

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ABC News

Former President Bill Clinton Gets Two Stents in Coronary Artery

Clinton Taken to Hospital After Feeling 'Discomfort' in His Chest

Emily Friedman

In this Dec. 3, 2008 photo, former U.S. President Bill Clinton attends the Clinton Global Initiative Asia Meeting in Hong Kong. Clinton was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday Feb. 11, 2010, after experiencing chest discomfort. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

NEW YORK -- Former President Bill Clinton was taken to a Manhattan hospital late this afternoon and two stents were installed in one of his coronary arteries, his office said.

The former president's counselor Douglas Band released a statement saying that Clinton, 63, is in "good spirits."

"Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest," said Band. "Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries."

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery.

"President Clinton is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," Band said.

ABC News' chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos reports that sources tell him "this is not life-threatening."

Stephanopoulos, who once worked for Clinton in the White House, noted Clinton's non-stop work ethic and said the former president has worked "20 hours a day for the last 20 years."

Sources on Capitol Hill tell ABC News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen leaving the Oval Office around the same time that Clinton had been hospitalized. Sources told ABC News that Secretary Clinton was "very concerned when told about the President, given his heart history" and that it made everyone "very nervous."

Her husband had a quadruple heart bypass in 2004.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Secretary Clinton was scheduled to leave for an overseas trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia Friday. It wasn't immediately known whether the trip would still take place, and Secretary Clinton headed for New York this evening to be with her husband.

"If we have anything to add beyond that, we will, including any changes to her schedule in the coming days," the State Department said in a statement.

One source told ABC News, however, that Secretary Clinton is still planning to head to Middle East on Friday. The source said that should "speak volumes" about the ex-president's condition.

Bill Clinton Had Quadruple Bypass in 2004

An official told ABC News that Clinton's ailment seemed more like "discomfort & something wasn't right" rather than a health "crisis."

A friend of the former president's said that he had been suffering from a cold and had been worn out from his trip to Haiti on Feb. 5. Another source who was with Clinton in Haiti told ABC News that he "looked really tired, exhausted and he didn't sleep at all" during the Haiti trip.

It was Clinton's second trip to Haiti since the January earthquake, and as the United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti he met with Haitian leaders and helped coordinate international quake assistance.

Clinton underwent quadruple bypass surgery to clear four blocked arteries nearly six years ago at the same hospital.

In Spring 2005, Clinton told ABC News that even after two surgeries, he "feels great."

"The pain is gone," said Clinton, "I can now pretty well do whatever I need to do."

During a humanitarian trip to Liberia In 2008, Clinton said his "heart thing" had helped to "really change me."

"I think surviving that heart thing and then doing this work and being so inspired by people like this has really changed me in a way," he told ABC News.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz and Kate Snow contributed to this report.

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