Features October 2011 Issue

Innovative Device May Reduce Stroke Risk For AFib Patients

Watchman® may offer an alternative to long-term anti-coagulant use.

If you have a history of atrial fibrillation, the risk of stroke due to blood clots increases. Although current treatments, including anticoagulant medications, reduce that risk, they are not always suitable for every patient. The new Watchman® device by Atritech, Inc. offers the potential to reduce strokes by limiting clot formation in the left atrial appendage. Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Walid Saliba, MD, is currently involved in clinical trials and believes that the Watchman may prove to be an important option for patients with a history of atrial fibrillation. Such patients have an increased risk of stroke that results from the heart’s failure to pump blood efficiently. This allows blood to pool and form clots that can break away and travel to the brain.

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