Argentine President Fernandez to take month off work for brain hematoma

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(CNN) — Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was told to take a month off work after doctors diagnosed her with a subdural hematoma.

The diagnosis and the doctor’s recommendation mean Fernandez will be out of commission during the critical campaign season for congressional elections on October 27.

Spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro said Saturday the president will suspend all her activities.

A subdural hematoma is a blood clot on the brain’s surface beneath its outer covering, called the dura. Often, in people over 60, a brain trauma can cause the blood vessels in the brain to tear, and blood to clot.

In August, Fernandez, 60, suffered a cranial trauma, for which doctors conducted a brain scan and found normal results with no symptoms at the time, Scoccimarro said.

Doctors at a Buenos Aires hospital discovered the hematoma on Saturday after a neurological evaluation, he said.

According to Argentina’s constitution, the vice president would assume the presidency temporarily in the president’s absence, but officials have not said if that will occur in this situation.

Fernandez’s health made headlines when she underwent surgery in January 2012 to remove her thyroid, after doctors said they detected cancer in the gland.

A few days later, a spokesman for Fernandez said she did not actually have cancer and that doctors had discarded their original diagnosis.

By Nelson Quinones and Holly Yan