Raising awareness for cardiovascular disease in this week’s Medical Monday

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It seems no family is immune to heart problems. My dad, Dino Martello, knows this all too well.

“After doing the nine-minute treadmill running uphill, my pulse went through the roof, the medical staff was yelling to call 911 and that I was having a heart attack,” Martello said.

This was during a routine physical for work.

“After a few minutes the paramedics arrived and they were telling the staff that it’s not a heart attack, quit telling him he’s having a heart attack, he’s in AFib,” Martello said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common type of heart arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation or AFib. This occurs when the upper chambers and lower chambers of the heart are not coordinated which causes an irregular heartbeat.

“They walked me around a little bit then put me on a table, when I laid down on the table that’s the first and only time I really felt my chest going,” Martello said.

Cardiologist said there are signs to look out for.

“Some people have symptoms such as palpitations, raising heartbeat, floating in the chest, or fainting,” Dr. Nghia Hoang, a Cardiac Electrophysiologist, said.

With so many advances in technology, these symptoms can be caught quickly with something as simple as a smartwatch.

“Patients can use the smartwatch, nowadays they record EKG,” Dr. Hoang said.

The CDC estimates that 12.1 million people in the US will have AFib in 2030.

Doctors can treat AFib right here in Bay County.

“We can use a device such as watchman where we implant it inside of the heart to prevent a blood clot,” Dr. Hoang said. “There’s another advanced treatment called atrial fibrillation ablation. We use a catheter, go from the groin into the heart, and create a control barrier so the AFib can’t spread freely.”

We can use World Heart Day to raise awareness beyond the Panhandle.

“Raising awareness globally is part of the campaign,” Dr. Amir Haghighat, an Interventional Cardiologist, said. “One thing we can do is act with heart and think how we can bring awareness to other parts of the world, not just ours.”

Using heart to beat cardiovascular disease one day at a time.