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Atrial Fibrillation
Friday, March 2, 2018 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Ajay Bhargava, MD

  • Cardiologist

Oussama Wazni, MD

  • Co-Director of the Ventricular Arrhythmia Center

Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is the most common heart rhythm abnormality that starts in the atria. Approximately 2.2 million people in America and 4.5 million in the European Union have paroxysmal or persistent AF. Please join us to have your Atrial Fibrillation questions answered by cardiologist Ajay Bhargava, MD, and Co-Director of the Ventricular Arrhythmia Center, Oussama Wazni, MD. We welcome Mellanie True Hills, Founder and CEO of stopAfib.org.

When someone has AFib, the sinus node (SA node) doesn’t properly direct the heart’s electrical rhythm. Many different impulses rapidly fire at the same time, causing a very fast and chaotic rhythm in the atria (upper chambers of the heart). Because the electrical impulses are so fast and chaotic, the atria cannot contract and/or squeeze blood effectively into the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). This decreases the heart’s pumping ability and increases the risk for blood clots. Cleveland Clinic's Center for Atrial Fibrillation is a multidisciplinary specialty treatment group dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of AF– whether it is chronic (persistent) or paroxysmal (comes and goes). Since 2004, we have seen thousands of patients in the center.

Ajay Bhargava, MD, is a staff cardiologist in Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. Dr. Bhargava obtained his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, as well as completed his residency and fellowship at this location. Following his internship with University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, he completed a fellowship at University of Chicago Hospitals and was appointed to Cleveland Clinic’s staff in 2005.

Oussama Wazni, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Cleveland Clinic Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing. He is the Director of the Outpatient Electrophysiology Department and Co-Director of the Ventricular Arrhythmia Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. He specializes in electrophysiology with special interest in atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia ablation. Dr. Wazni is principal investigator in several ongoing research studies related to atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia ablation, anticoagulation management in patients undergoing ablation for chronic atrial fibrillation, and use of low molecular heparin for bridging in patients undergoing implantation of mechanical valves.

Mellanie True Hills left her corporate executive life behind to spread the word about women and heart disease after almost dying in emergency heart surgery. On September 13, 2005, Mellanie had Mini-Maze surgery and says, "Though it was surgery, with risks and anesthesia, and was in an area that is very delicate for women, I have no regrets." She had been grounded from flying for two years, and was now able to fly again and travel by herself. She says, "You can't put a price on getting your freedom back."

Mellanie praises all those who made this surgery possible because they restored her life and freedom. Would she do it again? In a heart beat. That's why she adopted this tagline for StopAfib.org.

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