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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) itself is usually not life threatening. If left untreated, the side effects of AFib can be potentially life threatening. AFib makes it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively. With the blood moving more slowly, it is more likely to form clots. If the clot is pumped out of the heart, it could travel to the brain and lead to a stroke. This is the cause of about 15 out of every 100 strokes.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating, abruptly and without warning. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. In addition, if the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock immediately, death follows within minutes. SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year. In fact, SCA claims one life every 90 seconds, taking more lives each year than breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS. Unfortunately, 95 percent of people who experience SCA die as a result, mainly because treatment within minutes is not accessible.

A normal heartbeat is controlled by a smooth, constant flow of electricity through the heart. A short-circuit anywhere along this electrical pathway can disrupt the normal flow of signals, causing an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). Cardiac ablation is a procedure used to destroy these short-circuits and restore normal rhythm, or to block damaged electrical pathways from sending faulty signals to the rest of the heart.

Though it may feel like the heart has skipped a beat, a premature heartbeat occurs when the heart's regular rhythm is interrupted by an early or even extra heartbeat. If the beat arises from locations in the atria (upper chambers) it is called premature atrial contraction (PAC). If it arises from the ventricles (lower chambers), it is called premature ventricular complexes (PVC). In most cases, neither is considered serious.