Powell briefly hospitalized, blames altitude | AspenTimes.com

Powell briefly hospitalized, blames altitude

The Associated Press

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell returned to the Aspen Ideas Festival on Friday a few hours after he was hospitalized following a dinner with former President Clinton and others.Powell, 69, arrived on time for a panel discussion and showed no signs that he had been sick the night before.”I’m fine. I look healthy, don’t I?” he said after the hour-long session. “I started hyperventilating a little and was feeling a little altitude sickness, I think. I probably would have been OK but they said, ‘Oh god, let’s take a look at him.’ They took me to the hospital, gave me a quick examination and let me go.”Powell was released from Aspen Valley Hospital at 1:45 a.m., police Sgt. Bill Linn said.Powell’s Alexandria, Va.-based secretary, Peggy Cifrino, said Powell felt lightheaded, “stumbled a bit and sat down” before an ambulance was called. She said he told her that the altitude had most likely caused his illness.Powell spent a few hours at the hospital, Cifrino said, where doctors examined him to check his overall health.”He’s doing great,” she said.Powell has been to Colorado several times, Cifrino said, and he said he had no concerns about remaining in Aspen through Sunday, when he will return to Washington.Powell served as secretary of state from 2001 to 2005 after a four-year stint as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.