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Your Healthy Family: New device to prevent strokes - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: New device to prevent strokes

COLORADO SPRINGS -

There's a major change in how doctors treat patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm in the U.S.
A-fib causes shortness of breath, chest palpitations and fatigue for millions of Americans.
It also accounts for around 20 percent of all strokes; and it's the number one cause of preventable strokes.
A new device called "The Watchman" is placed into a patient's heart, to wall-off where blood clots tend to form, and prevent strokes. 
"This is a potential game changer for a lot of patients that are out there. It won't necessarily affect any of the symptoms directly related to a-fib that may need to be treated in a different way -- but in my opinion what is the most important aspect is the stroke risk and prevention. And this directly addresses that problem," said Dr. Brad Mikaelian, UCHealth Memorial Hospital. 
Dr. Mikaelian said this replaces blood thinner medications that many patients are taking. 
Doctors are already screening people in Southern Colorado and are hopeful to have the device available at Memorial in three to six months. 
Heart specialists have implanted the device in six UCHealth patients.

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