Items filtered by date: July 2019

Pacemakers and atrial fibrillation

Published in NJ Heart and Lung News

Atrial fibrillation, often referred to as arrhythmia, is defined as having an irregular heartbeat. It can cause various heart conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. When the heart functions properly, the muscles in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) completely empty the blood contained in them into the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart). However, when the electronic signals that cause the atria to contract function in a chaotic manner, blood can remain in the atria. Blood that remains in the atria can form a life-threatening clot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 6 million adults in the United States currently living with atrial fibrillation. The condition is age-related: only 2% of people younger than 65 years old have atrial fibrillation, while 9% of people over the age of 65 have it. In general, the older the population, the greater the risk of atrial fibrillation.

The main risk factors for atrial fibrillation are:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Cardiovascular disease
  3. Hyperthyroidism
  4. Obesity
  5. Diabetes
  6. Lung or kidney disease
  7. Sleep apnea
  8. Stress and anxiety

When atrial fibrillation cannot be controlled by medications or behavioral modification, a pacemaker may be required. A pacemaker is a small electronic device which adjusts the electronic pulses of the heart, causing the heart to beat in a steady, regular rhythm. The surgery required to insert a pacemaker is considered relatively minor and safe.

Since prolonged atrial fibrillation can cause permanent damage to an individual's internal organs, as well as increase their risk of a heart attack or stroke, the importance of a pacemaker cannot be overstated. As mentioned above, the procedure to implant a pacemaker is relatively simple — but the effect it can have on a person's life is profound. When a person has a pacemaker implanted, many of the symptoms they may have been experiencing — including fatigue, shortness of breath, general weakness, and chest pain — will disappear.

Although aging tends to turn atrial fibrillation into a lifelong condition, pacemakers are a highly effective treatment. They tend to be relatively risk-free, and can help individuals with afib lead longer, healthier, and happier lives.

At the NJ Heart and Lung Center™ of Regency Jewish Heritage, you will have an individualized plan, proven to prevent readmission to the hospital, and to improve your independence.  

Regency Jewish has partnered with the area's leading cardiologists and pulmonologists to create a program that:   

  • Reduces hospital readmissions and patient length of stay
  • Maximizes ability for patient to regain ADL skills and independence
  • Offers 24/7/365 physician coverage through on-site staff and advanced telemedicine program
  • Has an on-site sleep study program to unlock Medicare benefit for Bipap utilization upon discharge
  • Offers STAT availability of Labs, X-Ray and other diagnostic tools

Our Outcomes & Capabilities include: 

  • Cardiologist and pulmonologist on site daily for immediate intervention
  • Specialized rehab & nursing protocols developed in partnership with leading cardiologists & pulmonologists
  • A plan proven to prevent readmission to the hospital and improve patient independence and functionality
  • Regular Communication Between Patient, Family, Staff & Physicians
  • Collaborative care planning with other physician & therapy specialists
  • Advanced staff education & training
  • Transitional care nurse & enhanced discharge-to-home process
  • Follow-up home visit within 24-48 hours
  • Educational material provided to patients & families

Regency prides itself on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.   Contact us by clicking here.

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