This post was sponsored by Boston Scientific as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Cardiac arrhythmia, better known as irregular heartbeat in layman’s terms, may sound far-fetched when first hearing this combination of words. But staggering statistics tell us a different story.
Atrial fibrillation – known as AFib – is a type of irregular heartbeat that affects more than five million Americans.
AFib can occur in both men and women, with some studies suggesting that it may be more common in men.1 However, the risk of adverse outcomes like a stroke is higher in women.2
With the aging population in the United States, the frequency of AFib is increasing as well.
What does it mean for a person to have an irregular heartbeat?
This medical condition can be experienced in several ways. Sometimes an AFib patient can feel like their heart skipped or added a beat. At times, a patient describes their irregular heartbeat as “fluttering,” with either the heart beating too fast or too slow.
Without doubt, any person who experiences this too frequently should see a medical professional right away.
Is it bad to have an irregular heartbeat?
It can be dangerous to leave an irregular heartbeat without medical attention. Look at this statistic below:
People with AFib have a five times greater risk of suffering from a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat.1
Doctors recommend persons who suspect they have experienced an irregular heartbeat to see a specialist immediately, especially when it is accompanied with additional symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pains, fainting, and swelling in the legs.
It is recommended to keep a journal when you experience irregular heartbeat, in order to document its occurrence to discern whether it is connected to natural causes or a potential medical condition. Ultimately, only a medical assessment can determine the presence of Atrial fibrillation.
Is there a Treatment for an Irregular Heartbeat?
AFib patients are supported through medical procedures or by prescribed medications, including blood thinners to reduce their increased risk for stroke.
With modern medical technology, there are ways to support patients with AFib in a more powerful way.
For instance, one of the latest ways to allow patients with AFib to resume life without some of the bleeding and lifestyle challenges associated with blood thinners is the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device.
FACT: There are now more than 100,000 WATCHMAN devices implanted worldwide
What is WATCHMAN?
WATCHMAN is an FDA-approved device alternative to Warfarin for patients with non-valvular AFib patients who need a different stroke reduction option
Each WATCHMAN is implanted via a one-time, minimally invasive procedure, with a proven safety record.
To find out details about WATCHMAN device, please go to the Boston Scientific site.
If you or your loved one has Atrial fibrillation, and are taking blood-thinners as part of your management plan, then please research what the WATCHMAN device is about and what it could do for you. As with any medical procedure, talk to your doctor about benefits as well as risks, including internal bleeding, stroke and others.
1 January CT, Wann LS, Alpert JS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the
American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation.
2014 Dec 2;130(23):e199-267. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000041. Epub 2014 Mar 28. No abstract available. Erratum in: Circulation. 2014 Dec 2;130(23):e272-4.
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558350/ & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28395886