Yale University Researcher: This New Stroke-Preventing Device Is More Cost-effective Than Warfarin.


A researcher at Yale University supports The Watchman as aid to irregular heartbeat over medication because can be more cost-effective.

The 'Watchman', a device designed to help prevent stroke, is reported to be more cost-effective than oral tablets such as warfarin. Dr. James Freeman, an assistant professor of cardiology in Yale University, and his team based their research on two research trials called the 'PREVAIL' and the 'PROTECT AF'. The results shows that the Watchman is more cost effective than medications. They have published the research in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Yale News reported.

The left atrial appendage, a small appendage in the heart's upper chambers, can have blood clots form in it if a person has irregular heartbeat. This device, the Watchman, is implanted in the opening of the patient's left atrial appendage (LAA) through a catheter. A thin layer of tissue would grow over this device, thus preventing blood clots which are the main culprit of stroke. Also, the device prevents blood clot from circulating throughout the body through the bloodstream.

This device is a suggestion to treat atrial fibrillation in replacement to warfarin. Warfarin is a medicine which is also called a 'blood thinner' or 'anticoagulant' and is used to prevent blood clots. This medication, however, can have serious side effects on the patients. These side effects may include nausea, discomfort, stomach pain, and hemorrhage. The risk of bleeding caused by warfarin can last up to a week even if the medication is stopped, according to WebMD.

The statistical structure developed by the researchers in Yale has shown that this device is cost effective in the long run. According to Dr. Freeman, the PROTECT AF trial has more patients enrolled and may provide greater certainty. However, long-term results are needed for the doctors to be completely certain of the device's value.

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