NCH clinical study could help people with atrial fibrillation

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Being on the cutting edge of medicine has its advantages. NCH’s Rooney Heart Institute is involved in more than two dozen trials, that give people the benefit of advanced medical procedures. One of them is a heart ablation device that is poised for approval.

An irregular heartbeat was making life a nightmare for clinical trial participant Alison Parish.

“You feel like you couldn’t breathe. You just never thought it was ever going to end and it just went sometimes it would go for days. And I was on medicine, but the medicine just was not doing enough for it,” Parish said.

NCH electrophysiologist Dinesh Sharma is leading a local trial looking at a new fix for atrial fibrillation, a common heart issue which impacts more than 2 million Americans.

“We thought Allison was a perfect candidate for this trial,” Dr. Sharma said. “The heart instead of beating is kind of quivering. It’s called atrial fibrillation.”

NCH Electrophysiologist Dr. Dinesh Sharma. CREDIT: WINK News

Persistent a-fib is treated with ablation, which commonly uses energy to destroy tissue that blocks heart signals. Many devices use high heat, that also damages healthy tissue. The trial uses a catheter to deliver pulsed doses of heat instead.

“The benefit of that could be that we can deliver a lot more energy. Our success rate, goes higher, without taking any extra risk,” Dr. Sharma said. “The catheters send a short burst of heat, allows for much hotter, precise doses.”

“No matter which trial or what procedure they used, whatever he did worked! I’m just thrilled that it was such as great experience for me,” Parrish exclaimed.

NCH is involved in more than 2-dozen clinical trials, giving people in Southwest Florida access to promising techniques that otherwise not be available yet.

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