Cooper and Inspira are 1st in Northeast to offer innovative treatment option for patients with atrial fibrillation

The Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira team recently became the first in the Northeast region to implant a new device recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration to treat patients with atrial fibrillation who are also at risk of ischemic stroke.

The Abbott’s Amplatzer Amulet Left Atrial Appendage Occlude was successfully implanted by Dr. George Mark in a male patient in October as part of a multidisciplinary team lead by Dr. Sajjad Sabir, director of the Structural Heart Disease Program at Cooper, and member provider with Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira.

Dr. George Mark. (Courtesy photo)
Dr. Sajjad Sabir. (Courtesy photo)

“Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of coordination with the lower chambers (ventricles) and contract rapidly and irregularly” explained Sabir. “In some patients with AFib, the left atrial appendage — a small, naturally occurring pocket connected to the upper left chamber of the heart — can allow blood to pool and increase the likelihood of a clot formation, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.”

According to the American Heart Association, at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib. People with atrial fibrillation are five to seven times more likely to have a stroke than the general population. For patients with AFib who are unable to take blood thinners long-term, the Amulet procedure prevents blood clots from leaving the left atrial appendage and reduces the risk of stroke.

“Cooper has had access to this technology, since our team was part of the clinical trial that led to its approval,” said Dr. Phillip Koren, medical director of the Cooper Heart Institute and member provider of Cardiac Partners at Cooper and Inspira. “We are proud to participate in research that ultimately leads to lifesaving care in the community.”