For patients living with a heart arrhythmia, the increased risk of stroke is one of the most serious side-effects. It is estimated that AFib patients have five times the stroke risk of patients without AFib. Most AFib patients, regardless of the severity of their symptoms or frequency of episodes, require treatment to reduce the risk of stroke.
Many who suffer from AFib are forced to remain on medication, such as warfarin, to prevent blood clots and control the risk of stroke. Recently, however, the FDA has approved the use of the new WATCHMAN Device, which can be a long-term alternative to drug therapy for many who face an increased risk of stroke.