Sen. Byrd falls, taken to hospital

The Senate's oldest member has had health troubles recently, but is reportedly uninjured after a spill

Published September 22, 2009 3:45PM (EDT)

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., was taken to an area hospital after falling at his home, CNN reports. The network quotes the senator's spokesman as saying he "stood up too fast this morning and fell down."

Byrd's office is saying the trip to the hospital was just precautionary, and that he likely won't be admitted. But an ambulance was called, and the 91-year-old senator has had health issues recently; he was hospitalized earlier this year with a staph infection. He's currently the Senate's oldest member, and he's served in the body for more time than any other person in U.S. history.

Update: Byrd actually was admitted to the hospital, for a stay his staff is saying should last only for a few days.

"[U}pon examination, doctors found an elevated white-blood cell count which can be an early sign of an infection,” the senator's spokesman said in a statement. “Therefore, his doctors have determined that Byrd should remain in the hospital for antibiotic treatment and observation.”

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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