Atrial Fibrillation (Irregular Heartbeat)
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat rapidly and irregularly (fibrillate). This can cause blood to pool and form clots in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cause a stroke.
The average person with AFib is 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat.1
Blood thinners, also called anticoagulants, are an effective way to lower the risk of stroke in people with AFib not caused by heart valve problems. Most people can take blood thinners for years without serious side effects. But because blood thinners help prevent clots by thinning the blood, they also increase the risk of bleeding.1
For people who need an alternative to blood thinners, there are procedures that close off the LAA to keep blood clots from forming.
Visit watchman.com to learn more about AFib stroke risk and explore your treatment options.