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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Explainer: what do we know about John Fetterman’s diagnosis?

Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and a top Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, is recovering from a stroke he said was caused by a heart condition called atrial fibrillation.

Fetterman said in a statement Sunday that doctors believe he is on his way to a “full recovery.”

A look at what happened, the diagnosis, the future of Fetterman’s campaign, and what may have caused A-fib.

What happened?

It was Friday morning when Fetterman’s campaign canceled an event for the first time. The campaign’s communications director, Joe Calvello, told scores of people waiting to see Fetterman at Millersville University that he wasn’t feeling well that morning and had to cancel.

The campaign canceled more events on Friday and during the weekend, saying nothing about his location or whereabouts. He revealed on Sunday afternoon that he had suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital.

In the 16-second video released by the campaign to accompany the statement, Fetterman and his wife, Gisele, are seen together, with Fetterman sitting and speaking clearly.

“As you can see, we hit a small bump on the campaign trail,” she begins.

Will this affect his candidature?

Fetterman, 52, says his candidacy will continue, that he is feeling much better and is expected to make a full recovery.

However, it is not clear when he will be released from hospital in Lancaster or attend the primary night event scheduled for his campaign in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Fetterman suffered a stroke in a busy sprint in the final days of the primary campaign, when he had a full schedule of travel and public events across the state.

While the campaign may slow slightly in the weeks following the primary, the campaign did not say whether it would affect Fetterman’s schedule or what type of doctor visits or medication would be needed in the future.

Fetterman said the campaign itself “isn’t slowing down one bit.”

And nothing changes. Fetterman remains in the race and on the ballot with three other Democratic candidates.

What is the diagnosis?

Fetterman said in the statement that he had a stroke that was caused by a clot in his heart being in “an A-fib rhythm for too long”. Doctors quickly and completely removed the clot, reversing the stroke, Fetterman said.

Blood can pool inside the pocket of the heart, causing clots to form. The clot can then break off, become trapped, and cut off the blood, often in the brain, providing adequate blood flow.

Fetterman did not say which method doctors used to remove the clot, or what type of follow-up treatment would be needed.

Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a cardiologist and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, said clots can be removed with “clot-busting” drugs or, more commonly, “mechanically” by inserting a catheter. Taking out the clot A large artery in the groin.

Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, said the longer a clot blocks an artery, the more brain cells can die, so recognizing the symptoms of a stroke is critically important.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones said that people who develop A-fib are almost always given blood-thinning medication for the rest of their lives to help prevent stroke-causing blood clots.

What is A-FIB?

A-fib – or atrial fibrillation – occurs when the top chambers of the heart, called the atria, become out of sync with the pumping action of the chambers below. This is a type of irregular heartbeat that is potentially serious but treatable.

In that abnormal rhythm, the upper chambers beat so fast that they cannot contract like they normally would. As a result, they don’t move blood effectively, so blood can stagnate in the upper chambers and form a clot, Lloyd-Jones said.

Sometimes patients feel a pulsing or racing heart but sometimes they are not aware of an episode. Sometimes the heart gets into its own rhythm. Other patients receive an electric shock to get back into rhythm.

Lloyd-Jones said A-fib causes 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations annually in the US. 2% to 3% of adults in Fetterman’s age range in the US have had a stroke, and a significant number of those are due to atrial fibrillation, Lloyd-Jones said.

How do doctors check it?

A-fib is most common in older adults, and other risks include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or a family history of arrhythmias. Obesity is also a significant risk factor, as is getting taller, Lloyd-Jones said.

Fetterman is 6-foot-8, having been open about his push to lose weight in the past. He weighed over 400 pounds before losing about 150 pounds in 2018.

Routine screening is not recommended for people without symptoms. Studies have not yet proven that early detection from screening will prevent enough strokes to reduce the risks from unnecessary testing or over-treatment.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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