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Sequoia Hospital Announces High Volume Cardiac Arrhythmia Program
Date:9/8/2009

Only Hospital in Northern and Central California to Reach 1,000 A-Fib Ablations

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sequoia Hospital announced that the Cardiac Arrhythmia Program has completed 1,000 atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) ablation procedures, making it the highest total volume A-Fib ablation institution currently performing ablations in Northern and Central California. Numerous medical journals and world-wide ablation center surveys have documented that this type of high volume and physician experience is associated with superior efficacy and safety of the A-Fib ablation procedure. Sequoia's success with paroxysmal A-Fib ablation is over 90% and even in patients with longstanding persistent A-Fib where episodes last more than one year, more than 80% can have normal rhythm restored. Sequoia Hospital electrophysiologists who perform ablations include Gregory Engel, M.D.; R. Hardwin Mead, M.D.; Rob Patrawala, M.D. and Roger Winkle, M.D.

"Our patients no longer suffer from atrial fibrillation and in the overwhelming majority of cases they don't have to take medications," said Rob Patrawala, M.D. "Our outcomes and experience have made us a major referral center for this procedure. Physicians from other institutions often refer their most complex cases to Sequoia. Patients who have failed a first procedure and are in need of a second ablation often choose Sequoia because of our excellent outcomes and published results."

"Sequoia is proud to be the only hospital performing ablations in Northern and Central California to achieve 1,000 A-Fib ablations," said Glenna Vaskelis, president and CEO of Sequoia Hospital. "And as a leader in this field, our physicians will continue to develop the next generation of devices and technology, further perfecting and refining this procedure."

"Patients who are not good candidates for an ablation procedure also have hope," said Gregory Engel, M.D. "In addition to ablation, we are continually evaluating new technologies and medications to improve the quality of life of all of our patients."

Cardiac Electrophysiology at Sequoia Hospital

There is another reason that September marks an important month for Sequoia Hospital. Sequoia celebrates the 25th anniversary of its cardiac electrophysiology program. Originally pioneered by Roger Winkle, M.D., and R. Hardwin Mead, M.D., and enhanced over the years by the addition of a team of Cardiac Electrophysiology physicians, it has grown into a highly regarded center. Over the last quarter century thousands of patients with heart electrical problems have had their quality of life dramatically improved from the treatments administered by this center.

About A-Fib

A-Fib is the most common type of heart arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. An estimated 2.2 million Americans are living with A-Fib and it's the most common "serious" heart rhythm abnormality in people over the age of 65 years. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, dizziness, sweating, chest pain or pressure and difficulty getting your breath. A-Fib can lead to serious medical conditions such as stroke and heart failure. The goals of treatment include regaining a normal heart rhythm, controlling the heart rate, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of stroke. A-Fib treatment options are varied: medication, electrical cardioversion, ablation, surgery and pacemakers. Patients must consult with their physician for an individualized treatment plan.

About Sequoia Hospital

Sequoia Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital providing innovative and exceptional healthcare to Bay Area residents. With a nationwide reputation for pioneering advanced cardiac care, Sequoia is designated as a 2009 Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California. Sequoia also excels in the areas of stroke care, emergency services, and birth center services. Sequoia ranks in the top percentile of U.S. hospitals for patient satisfaction and is a leader in quality and safety initiatives. To learn more, please visit: www.SequoiaHospital.org


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