Marion Barry released after blood clot scare in Las Vegas

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) was hospitalized Sunday night while in Las Vegas for a convention, council officials said.

“Got a blood clot while waiting on plane in Memphis,” said a message posted on Barry’s Twitter account shortly before 8 p.m. Eastern time. “Taking blood [thinner]. I thank God it was caught.”

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D), who also traveled to Las Vegas, confirmed Barry’s hospitalization there. On Monday afternoon, Brown said the former mayor had been released and was “in good spirits.”

Neither Barry, 76, nor his chief of staff returned calls or e-mails Monday. WRC-TV reported Monday that Barry was taken to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center.

One Barry tweet referenced a recent controversy: During a council hearing last month, he lamented a high number of immigrant nurses, particularly from the Philippines. But the message singled out the “kind professional Filipino staff” who treated him Sunday.

“I stand corrected; I truly didn’t mean 2 hurt or offend,” it read.

Barry is among more than a dozen D.C. elected officials and staff members who traveled to Las Vegas for the annual retail convention hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The officials, who this year include Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), will attempt to woo big-name retailers to developments across the city.

It is not the first time Barry has been hospitalized while traveling on official business. He was famously admitted to a Los Angeles hospital while on a Super Bowl trip in 1987 — one of Barry’s most high-profile health issues in a public career full of them. Most recently, he underwent urinary tract surgery in January.

The 2001 death of a 28-year-old British woman on a long international flight brought attention to the heightened risk of blood clots during air travel. A 2007 World Health Organization study found that the risk of clotting roughly doubles after four hours of travel.

A tweet Monday morning indicated that Barry had been cleared to leave the hospital: “Just met w/the hematologist who said I can leave, but have 2 stay on blood thinners, exercise everyday &on plane, take it easy next few days.”

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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