By Mark Memmott

Because he's been in declining health for several years, there's always attention paid when Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., has any type of medical incident.

So, newsrooms were on alert about 45 minutes ago when Politico reported that "Ambulances Race To Robert Byrd's Home."

The latest update in that story: Byrd "apparently stood up too fast this morning in his home and fell down," said Jesse Jacobs, a spokesman for the senator. "To err on the side of caution his caregiver called an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital where he is currently being checked out. At this point in time there is no indication that he will be admitted."

Byrd is 91, was first elected to the Senate in 1958, and is the longest-serving senator in U.S. history.

Update at 3:20 p.m. ET. Byrd's office now says the senator has been admitted to a Washington-area hospital. Here's a statement from his press office:

Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., has been admitted to the hospital and is expected to remain there for a few days. Byrd was taken to the hospital this morning as a precautionary measure following a fall at his home which was likely caused by standing up too quickly. While having no broken bones or bruises, upon examination, doctors found an elevated white-blood cell count which can be an early sign of an infection. Therefore, his doctors have determined that Byrd should remain in the hospital for antibiotic treatment and observation. Senator Byrd is in good spirits and expressed his disappointment that he was unable to join all his Senate colleagues this afternoon for the biennial Senate photo.

categories: Politics

10:58 - September 22, 2009