Justice Ginsburg Is Hospitalized As Precaution

By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 25, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to Washington Hospital Center on Thursday when she fell ill at the court after being treated for an iron deficiency.

Ginsburg, 76, "developed light headedness and fatigue" in her chambers about an hour after receiving an iron sucrose infusion, according to a statement from the court. A court physician determined that Ginsburg's blood pressure was slightly low and administered fluids. Ginsburg's symptoms improved, the court said, but the justice was taken to the hospital as a precaution at 7:45 p.m. She was expected to remain there overnight Thursday.

Ginsburg's health has been an issue since she battled pancreatic cancer earlier this year. In February, doctors removed her spleen and a tiny tumor on her pancreas. Ginsburg said that the operation was a complete success and that she was cancer-free. She underwent what she called a precautionary round of chemotherapy in the spring but never missed a day of the court's public sessions.

The court said Ginsburg underwent a comprehensive examination in July that involved "medical evaluations, imaging scans, and comprehensive blood tests." It said she was pronounced to be "in completely normal health with the exception of a low red blood cell count caused by deficiency of iron."

She has kept up a rigorous schedule of speaking engagements and work on the court and has said she does not plan to leave the court for years. She participated in the investiture of new Justice Sonia Sotomayor and a special hearing on campaign finance laws earlier this month, and she just returned from speaking to law students at Northwestern University in Illinois.

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