An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat resulting from a change in the normal sequence of electrical impulses. More than four million Americans have cardiac arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) and approximately 850,000 people are hospitalized in the United States for an arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or erratically, potentially leading to the damage or total shutdown of the lungs, brain or other organs through lack of pumped blood.
While most arrhythmias are harmless, some can be serious and even life threatening. Fortunately, even serious arrhythmias can often be successfully treated, and most people with arrhythmias are able to lead normal lives.
Arrhythmias have been known to occur throughout all ages, races and sexes, but become more common in one’s later years. Beyond age, the most important factor making one prone to an arrhythmia is existing damage to the heart muscle (often caused by a heart attack).
Those diagnosed with an abnormal and clinically significant arrhythmia will often have a doctor set a treatment plan with goals that typically include:
- Preventing blood clots from forming to reduce stroke risk
- Controlling heart rate within a relatively normal range
- Restoring a normal heart rhythm, if possible
- Treating heart disease/condition that may be causing arrhythmia
- Reducing other risk factors for heart disease and stroke
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an arrhythmia, it’s important to know that help is available. One place to turn is Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute in Orange County, California. With its exceptional team of physician experts and staff, progressive technology, and state-of-the-art facilities, Hoag continues to lead the way in comprehensive cardiovascular care both locally and nationwide.
With more than 20 years of experience in arrhythmia management, Hoag has treated tens of thousands of individuals from across the nation. Here you’ll find the highest caliber care at the best value without compromising quality. Among its many regional and national achievements, Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute:
- Was placed in the highest category for quality cardiac surgery by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, a rating achieved by only 10 percent of hospitals nationwide
- Ranked one of the 100 Best Hospitals in America for Cardiac Surgery for 2 years in a row (2012-2013)
- Has been the recipient of the Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award for 4 years in a row (2011-2013)
- Ranked #9 in California for Cardiac Surgery in 2013
- Ranked a Five-Star Recipient for Valve Surgery for 8 years in a row (2006-2013)
To learn more about Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute and how they can help you or a loved one with an arrhythmia, visit www.hoag.org