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Risk of Strokes Lowered with New Technology In Use at Wheeling Hospital

April 14, 2017

WHEELING - Wheeling Hospital continues to enhance its cardiac vascular services with a new heart procedure that lowers the risk of stroke.

Interventional cardiologists are now using the Amplatzer PFO Occluder, the only FDA-approved device designed to close PFOs. Patients with PFO, or patent foramen ovale, have a small opening between the upper chambers of the heart.

Using the new procedure is the interventional cardiology team of Dr. Triston Smith, Dr. Gregory Suero and Dr. Deepak Hooda.

In a developing fetus, the foramen ovale allows oxygenated blood from the placenta to bypass the lungs. This small, flap-like opening typically closes after birth. If it remains open, or “patent,” it is a PFO.

The Amplatzer Occluder closes that small opening, lowering the risk of stroke caused by dangerous clots passing from the right side of the heart to the left, traveling up to the brain and causing a stroke. Placement of the occluder is minimally invasive and performed while the patient is sedated but still conscious.

“This procedure allows us to treat patients with PFO and cryptogenic strokes without having to place them on traditional blood thinners that could potentially limit their lifestyle and put them at increased risk of bleeding events,” Smith said.

It is estimated that 25 percent of adults have a PFO, which often is not detected until they have a cryptogenic stroke, or a stroke from an unknown cause. Newly-released, long-term data from RESPECT, a landmark clinical trial, showed that patients who received the Amplatzer Occluder had a reduced risk of recurrent stroke by 45 percent over guideline-directed medical therapy alone.
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Contact: Gregg Warren, Vice President-Marketing and Public Relations, 304-243-3260
Wheeling Hospital

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