Learn More About Irregular Heartbeat [Infographic]

Learn More About Irregular Heartbeat [Inforgraphic]

Learn More About Irregular Heartbeat [Inforgraphic]

Heart arrhythmias occur when there is a change to the normal sequence of electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats. This can result in the heart beating too fast, too slow or irregularly, which can affect whether blood is being pumped effectively within the body.

Learn more about the symptoms and risk factors of heart arrhythmia below. If you begin experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors and Warning Signs

If you are experiencing an irregular heartbeat or palpitations, schedule an appointment with a health care provider or learn more about available health screenings

Get Heart Smart

Get Heart Smart

Get Heart Smart

Your vascular system carries blood to and from the heart. Vascular disease can take many different forms. It ranges from diseases of the veins, arteries and lymph vessels to blood disorders.

Poor vascular health can cause arteries to become thick and stiff (a condition known as atherosclerosis), create blood clots that can block blood flow to the heart or brain, and weaken blood vessels to the point of bursting.

Dr. Stephen Self“Many of the vascular diseases are silent and often go unnoticed until they eventually lead to major problems,” said Stephen Self, MD, vascular surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Vascular Surgery Associates. “It’s crucial that people are aware of the risk factors and become proactive about their health.”

Knowing the Risk Factors

 

Despite the sly nature of many vascular diseases, there are some controllable and uncontrollable risk factors you should know about, including:

  • Age — People 50 and older are at greatest risk.
  • Smoking — Smoke inhalation increases vascular damage.
  • Lack of exercise — Contributes to fat storage, muscle loss and low energy
  • Obesity — A common sign of poor vascular health
  • Unhealthy diet — Poor diets can increase bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
  • Genetics — Your family medical history can help define your risk.
  • Diabetes — Diabetes is linked to several vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, stroke and peripheral artery disease.

Protecting Yourself

 

“I recommend people with increased risk of vascular disease, such as those who smoke or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and anyone over the age of 50, get vascular screenings,” Dr. Self said. “They are completely painless and can ultimately save your life.”

Because vascular disease symptoms are sometimes silent, people may not recognize there is an issue until it worsens. Why take the chance? In just 30 minutes, a vascular screening can assess your risk and help you start reducing it.

To speak with one of our vascular experts, call KentuckyOne Health Vascular Surgery Associates at 844.318.1676.

To schedule a vascular screening, call 844.318.1688 (select option 2 and then 1).

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Summer edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

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New Heart Means Second Chance for Versailles Patient

New Heart Means Second Chance

When physicians told Pat Sutherland she needed a heart transplant, she was stunned.

“Time just stopped,” the 57 year old said. “It was like Charlie Brown’s teacher was talking. All you could hear was, ‘Blah, blah, blah.’”

Sutherland had cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the body. Despite the distance between Louisville and her hometown of Versailles, Sutherland believed having her transplant at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, was the right choice.

“The day we found out about my new heart was the 15th anniversary of my dad’s death,” Sutherland said. “I felt like he was an angel floating around me.”

On March 23, 2016, Sutherland’s heart transplant was performed. During her 60-day stay in the coronary care unit, she bonded with her nurses.

“We became like a family,” Sutherland said. “No matter what kind of day they were having, they made sure I was doing OK and checked to see if I needed to go for a walk or needed a laugh.”

For her continuing recovery, Sutherland transitioned to the Healthy Lifestyle Center (HLC) at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. Sutherland loves its fun crew.

“They laugh with you and encourage you if you’re having a hard time,” Sutherland said. “They have the know-how, and teach you how to use the machines, how to care for yourself and tips for healthful living.”

Sutherland hopes to one day meet her donor’s family and express her appreciation. She and many of her family members are now donors because of her experience.

“How many times do you get a second chance to live?” Sutherland asked. “What a blessing it is to be able to thank the Lord and people for everything they’ve done for me.”

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Winter edition of One Health magazine. For more stories like this one and news and information on heart health, subscribe to One Health today.

Say Goodbye to Blood Thinners

Goodbye to Blood Thinners

Say goodbye to blood thinners

A small umbrella shaped device is revolutionizing stroke prevention therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation.

The WATCHMAN™ device is now available at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, which may eliminate long-term use of blood thinners for some patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib).

“This is a therapy revolution for stroke prevention in these patients,” said Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, MA, FHRS, director of cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Jewish Hospital. “If you have been told you need to take blood thinners for the rest of your life because you have AFib and you have concerns about doing so, this is a great alternative.”

How It Works

Shaped like a small umbrella, the WATCHMAN implant (pictured below) is designed to catch blood clots that patients with AFib may develop. A highly trained cardiac electrophysiologist or interventional cardiologist inserts the implant, which is roughly the size of a quarter, using a minimally invasive procedure. The physician places a large IV into the femoral vein in the groin and threads the WATCHMAN device through a catheter until it reaches the upper left chamber of the heart.

Once in place, the device is well-positioned to catch clots that may form in the left atrial appendage, thus preventing these clots from breaking loose and traveling to the brain or lungs and causing a stroke.

The procedure to place the WATCHMAN is performed under general anesthesia, and typically takes between one and two hours. Patients typically stay in the hospital for just one day and then return home.

Easing Off Medication

Following the procedure, doctors will prescribe six weeks of a blood thinner, but that is only temporary.

“Usually within four-and-a-half months, the patient can be off all blood thinners — possibly for the rest of his or her life,” Dr. Gopinathannair said. “If you are seeking an alternative to blood-thinning medications, talk with your health care provider about this option.”

If you have AFib and are on blood thinners, you might be a candidate for WATCHMAN. To reach the Jewish Hospital WATCHMAN Team, call 844.206.3936.

“The WATCHMAN™ will be a game changer in how we prevent strokes in patients with nonvalvular AFib. Jewish Hospital offers patients in the region a great opportunity to try this option, and we have a great team in place with all of the expertise necessary to get this done.”

Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, MA, FHRS

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine. For the latest news on KentuckyOne Health, visit our News Center and read more about the WATCHMAN procedure.