Heart Health: Heart can stop and start on its own - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Heart Health: Heart can stop and start on its own

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Matt Breen, Reporting, "Sierra from Sioux City is asking: Can your heart stop and then restart again on its own."

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "The short answer is yes. The horror scenario is when the person is declared dead and then they wake up in the morgue. The more common version happens to most of us with healthy hearts when we sleep where the heart does not need to beat that fast and can go down to 30s (normal range 60-90). Occasionally it may pause for 3-4 seconds and start again. That is still considered normal as long as you don't have symptoms of dizziness during awake hours. Then comes the disease of the conduction system that usually is for older people where the conduction system does not work well. They again can have there heart not beating from 3 seconds up to 20 seconds and restart again. Most of us will pass out once the heart does not beat for 5-7 seconds. But if it happens in sleep you would know. Finally in particular case of people with obstructive sleep apnea these pauses happen much more frequently during the night which among the reasons we want them to get treatment."

Matt Breen, Reporting, "Beth from Sioux City is asking: My dad was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation almost a year ago, the that time he was placed on Pradaxa. Recently I was told that he had 2 leaky valves in his heart. On the TV ads they say the drug is for patients who have non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Is it still ok for him to take this medication?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "The answer is yes. It is ok for him to continue on this medication. In the old days we used to call it valvular and non valvular atrial fibrillation. The valvular atrial fibrillation was another way of saying patient had history of rheumatic fever with valvular involvement causing mitral valve which is this valve on the picture to become tight no leaky. Many patients with this particular condition developed atrial fibrillation. Then there were patients without this condition who also developed atrial fibrillation. They are called non valvular atrial fibrillation. These days rheumatic fever and rheumatic valve disease is very rare in developed countries so most patients would do just fine on these new blood thinners."

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