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Dick Cheney has irregular heartbeat

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 26, 2007 in Politics
Vice President Dick Cheney was seeing the doctors for his cold problems, experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and will be evaluated later at George Washington University Hospital.
Vice President Dick Cheney has a history of heart problems. Lucky for him he was at the hospital to check his lingering cough problems when he developed this irregular heart beat condition. They were able to diagnose it quickly.
Megan Mitchell Spokeswoman told the press:
During examination he was incidentally found to have an irregular heartbeat, which on further testing was determined to be atria fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart,"
She said that he will visit the George Washington University Hospital later for further evaluation and treatment if necessary. He may receive cardioversion, a medical procedure that involves the delivery of an electric impulse to the heart.
Many Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, and more cases are being added to the current total of 2.8 million cases because of increasing aging population.
The condition occurs when the heart's top chambers, called the atria, get out of sync with the bottom chambers' pumping action. It is not immediately life-threatening, and the heart sometimes gets back into rhythm on its own. Many times, patients aren't aware of an episode of atrial fibrillation.
If the irregular heartbeat continues it may develop into a life threatening complication. If forms blood clots that can shoot to the brain and cause a fatal stroke.
The doctors employ an electrical shock to restore the normal heartbeat. If the shock treatment doesn’t work, patients may have to take the blood thinner warfarin to reduce stroke risk. If both these treatments don’t work, the patient may require a surgical procedure to interrupt the faulty heartbeat.
Get well soon, Mr. Cheney.
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