Former US President George HW Bush in fair condition at Maine hospital after fall

US President George H.W. Bush in his office in Houston, Texas, USA on March 29, 2012.
US President George H.W. Bush in his office in Houston, Texas, USA on March 29, 2012. PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Former United States President George HW Bush was in fair condition at a Maine hospital on Thursday after suffering a neck fracture in a fall at his home, according to spokesmen for Bush and the hospital.

After being taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland following the fall on Wednesday, Bush, who served as America's 41st president, was initially described as stable. On Thursday morning hospital spokesman Matt Paul told Reuters the 91-year-old Bush was in "fair condition."

"(He) fell at home in Maine today and broke a bone in his neck," Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement posted on Twitter following the accident. "His condition is stable - he is fine - but he'll be in a neck brace."

McGrath told CNN the former president was never disoriented and that his stay at the medical center was not expected to be long.

Bush was last hospitalised in Houston for a week in December 2014 after experiencing breathing difficulties.

Bush is the father of President George W Bush and of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is now seeking the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential election.

The elder Bush, a Republican like his sons, served as vice president for eight years during Ronald Reagan's two terms in the White House before being elected president, defeating former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, in 1988.

He took office in 1989 and served four years in the White House, during which he organized the US-led military coalition that defeated Iraqi forces after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

He lost his 1992 re-election bid to Democrat Bill Clinton.

Bush previously served as a congressman, a UN ambassador, a US envoy to China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming Reagan's running mate in 1980.

A Navy pilot during World War Two, he celebrated his 90th birthday on June 12, 2014, by skydiving near Kennebunkport, Maine, with the Army's Golden Knight parachute team. He currently suffers from Parkinson's disease and cannot use his legs.