Jose Baez-Escudero, MD
- Staff Cardiologist
- Section of Electrophysiology and Cardiac Pacing
- Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiology
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
About 14 million people in the United States have an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. Many people experience occasional, irregular heartbeats that may feel like a fluttering or racing heart but these episodes are often brief and considered relatively harmless. An arrhythmia can affect both children and adults. However, adults over the age of 60 are more likely to be diagnosed with an arrhythmia that can be serious or life-threatening.
During an arrhythmia, the heart beats too rapidly, too slowly or with an irregular rhythm. Tachycardia refers to a heartbeat that is too fast while bradycardia is the term used when your heart beats too slowly. The most common type of irregular heartbeat found in almost 2.7 million people in the United States is Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib or AF). This condition occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly instead of beating efficiently to move blood into the heart’s ventricles. The heart’s inability to effectively circulate blood can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Many different factors can contribute to an irregular heartbeat including high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, stress, blockages in your arteries or scarred heart tissue as a result of a heart attack. It is important to seek a medical evaluation with your physician if you are experiencing palpitations or other type of change in your heartbeat. Depending on the type and severity of the arrhythmia you are experiencing, treatment may or may not be necessary.
Treatment options may include lifestyle modification, medication therapy, implantable electrical devices or minimally invasive surgery. Implantable electrical devices, such as pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators, deliver electrical impulses to the heart muscle and can be very effective in stabilizing an irregular heartbeat.
The Electrophysiology and Cardiac Pacing team at Cleveland Clinic Florida are experts in the diagnosis of arrhythmias and can perform a physical evaluation, including diagnostic tests, to help determine whether you have an arrhythmia or other type of electrophysiological condition of the heart. Take this opportunity to have your questions answered about arrhythmias and other heartbeat conditions, including treatment options available at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Robert and Suzanne Tomsich’s Department of Cardiology by expert electrophysiologist and cardiac pacing specialist, Jose Baez-Escudero, MD. For more information about our experts or Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit clevelandclinicflorida.org.
Jose Baez-Escudero, MD is a cardiologist and fellowship-trained electrophysiologist and cardiac pacing specialist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiology. He specializes in cardiovascular disease and clinical cardiac electrophysiological conditions, including abnormal heart rhythms, atrial and ventricular fibrillation, tachycardia and bradyarrhythmias.
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