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Morning Extra: Heart Health Month

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Dr. Edmond Cronin, an electrophysiologist from Hartford Hospital, stops by to talk about Heart Health Month.

Cardiac electrophysiology is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart


Hartford Hospital is launching a center dedicated to the treatment of A-Fib. The hospital is the first in the region to offer comprehensive evaluation and management services for patients suffering from A-Fib.

The procedure, called ablation, helps treat atrial fibrillation – also called “A-fib” — a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and ineffectively. A-fib can lead to clots, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.  At the least, A-fib can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, extreme fatigue and other symptoms that can severely affect a patient’s quality of life.

It’s estimated that today five million Americans have A-fib and that in the next 50 years that number will increase to at least 12 million.  While medication can control A-fib in many patients, some continue to have symptoms despite attempts at treatment with multiple medications.  In these patients, an ablation procedure can drastically reduce their symptoms from A-fib and many times, can eliminate the need for medications.

The ablation procedure is performed via small punctures from veins in the legs and patients usually are in the hospital for only an overnight stay.  Studies have shown that centers who perform many of these ablation procedures have the best outcomes.  Hartford Hospital was the first center in Connecticut to perform A-fib ablations and continues to do so with high success rates.  

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