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Premier Health First in Dayton to Treat Atrial Fibrillation Patients with Unique Freezing Technology

Procedure Performed at Dayton Heart & Vascular Hospital at Good Samaritan

DAYTON, OHIO, September 26, 2013 – Premier Health announced today that it is the first and currently only hospital system in Dayton to treat patients who suffer from a common form of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a serious heart rhythm disorder, with the new Artic Front Advance™ Cardiac Cryoballoon System. This innovative medical technology works by freezing the heart tissue around the pulmonary veins to help stop abnormal electrical activity that causes an irregular heartbeat.  Dr. Kevin Kravitz, Dayton Heart & Vascular Hospital at Good Samaritan cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, performed the first cryoballoon ablations with positive outcomes and satisfied patients.

Atrial fibrillation is nearly epidemic,” stated Kevin D. Kravitz, MD, “Cryoballoon ablation is truly revolutionary in the process of treating atrial fibrillation. It is a simpler more elegant technology for patients. In the conventional ablation for cure of atrial fibrillation, we would burn around all four of the pulmonary veins, point by point, to encircle and electrically isolate them. This is a very tedious and time consuming process. With the cryoballoon, the balloon is inserted into each vein and freezes the entire circumference of the vein in a single shot, electrically isolating it in a single freeze. This is easier, faster and safer than the conventional ablation. Patients are under anesthesia for less time and usually home the next day. Patients experience significant improvement in their quality of life and their risk of stroke is reduced.”

Treatment with cryoballoon ablation involves a minimally invasive procedure that isolates the pulmonary veins using coolant rather then heat. Delivered through a catheter, the technology is associated with faster procedure times than other ablation techniques currently being used. Patients treated with cryoballoon ablation display a significant reduction of symptoms, a decrease in the use of drug therapy, and substantial improvements in quality of life factors.

“Good Samaritan Hospital has a long tradition of bringing new medical technology to the Dayton area,” remarked Eloise Broner, president and CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital. “From the first cardiac catheterization performed in Dayton in 1958 to today’s new cryoballoon ablation procedure, Good Sam continues to invest in new technology and advances in medical treatment.”

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common and undertreated heart rhythm disorders in the world. The disease, which involves an irregular quivering or rapid heart rhythm in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart, affects approximately 3 million Americans. A heart in AFib beats significantly faster than a normal heartbeat. When the heart does not contract at a normal rhythm, blood is not pumped completely out of the atria and may pool and clot. Half of all diagnosed patients fail drug therapy, and if left untreated, patients have up to a five times higher risk of stroke and an increased chance of developing heart failure. Additionally, since atrial fibrillation is often age-related, as the American population continues to grow older, the need for more effective treatment options is escalating.