Vice President Being Evaluated for Irregular Heartbeat

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Washington (AP) Vice President Cheney has experienced an irregular heartbeat and will be evaluated at George Washington University hospital.

A spokeswoman for the Vice President says the condition was detected when Cheney was seen by doctors for a lingering cough from a cold.

She says tests determined Cheney was experiencing Atrial Fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.

The condition isn't life-threatening in itself, and the heart sometimes gets back into rhythm on its own. But if the irregular heartbeat continues, it eventually can cause blood clots to form which could shoot to the brain and cause a stroke.

The main treatment is to try an electrical shock to restore normal heartbeat. If that doesn't work, patients may need to take the blood thinner Warfarin to reduce stroke risk.

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