New heart device to reduce strokes comes to St. Francis Medical Center


WE’LL HAVE MORE NEWS COMING UP ON FOX 14 AT 5-30… (SARAH) ST. FRANCIS WELCOMES A NEW DEVICE THAT HELPS PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH HEART PROBLEMS OR HAVE HAD A STROKE. THE BEST PART? IT REQUIRES NO OPEN HEART SURGERY AND IS COMPLETELY SAFE TO USE. FOX 14’S HUNTER ELYSE IS BACK FROM ST. FRANCIS WITH THE BREAKDOWN OF THE DEVICE, HUNTER? (HUNTER) SARAH, THE WATCHMAN DEVICE IS BRAND NEW FOR NORTHEAST LOUISIANA AND ST. FRANCIS IS EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW PROCEDURE. IT GIVES PATIENTS IN OUR AREA A CHANCE TO BE EXPOSED TO MODERN TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT DRIVING TO SHREVEPORT OR BATON ROUGE. ((HUNTER ELYSE REPORTING)) ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, MORE THAN TWO POINT SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE ARE KNOWN TO HAVE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION…A CONDITION WHERE AN IRREGULAR HEART BEAT CAN LEAD TO BLOOD CLOTS OR STROKES. TO TREAT A FIB, DOCTORS USUALLY PRESCRIBE BLOOD THINNERS…HOWEVER FOR SOME PATIENTS, THE THINNERS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TREATMENT. Dr. Alvaro Manrique, Cardiologist at St. Francis “Now we have an option which is this new procedure. Fairly new in the United States, new here obviously in town, which is the Watchman device.” GETTING THE WATCHMAN DEVICE IMPLANTED ELIMINATES THE NEED FOR OPEN HEART SURGERY. “We put a small catheter in the patients groin and the cartler goes all the way to the patients heart and goes to the left side and depolys the device, which looks like a small umbrella and opens in the apex.” THE WATCHMAN DEVICE STOPS THE BLOOD FROM ENTERING THE HEART AND REDUCES THE PATIENT’S RISK OF THE BLOOD GETTING TO THE BRAIN AND CAUSING A STROKE. RECOVERY TIME IS ALSO REDUCED AND PATIENTS CAN RETURN HOME WITHIN A WEEK. “The procedure takes less than two hours to do it from beginning to end and a lot of the time it’s preparation for the procedure. Once it’s depolyed, the patient goes home and in 45 days we re-check the device and if everything is okay, they can stop taking the blood thinners and they’ll be protected against strokes.” ONCE THE PROCEDURE HAPPENS, THE DEVICE STAYS IN THE PATIENT’S HEART FOREVER. (HUNTER) ST. FRANCIS ALSO SAYS 99% OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE WATCHMAN IMPLANTED ARE ABLE TO STOP USING BLOOD THINNERS WITHIN A YEAR OR LESS. IN THE STUDIO, HUNTER ELYSE FOX

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