Mercy Health – Springfield, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that it will begin offering the Watchman device – a revolutionary stroke prevention treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation, or AFib. 

This condition causes the left atria to quiver, allowing clot formation in the left appendage, a small pouch that sits in the muscle wall on the top left chamber of the heart. Clots that form there are at risk of dislodging and traveling to the brain, which can cause a stroke. The Watchman device, which is shaped like a jellyfish, prevents the formation of clots, protecting patients from stroke. 

“Knowing that your health condition puts you at greater risk for stroke robs you and your family of peace of mind. The Watchman can restore that in patients for whom blood thinners aren’t an option,” said Lori Blanton-Baugh, director of cardiology for Mercy Health – Springfield. “Mercy Health’s experienced team of heart experts are available to care for patients needing the Watchman device to help prevent clots that can lead to stroke.”

Candidates for the Watchman device include patients who have AFib and:
  • can’t be on longer term anti-clotting medications
  • are prone to bleeding and falls
  • experience bleeding events
Cardiologists introduce the Watchman through the femoral vein in a one-time, minimally invasive procedure that takes about two hours from start to finish. Most patients leave the hospital within 24 hours and are off anticoagulant medication within six months.

Following extensive training, Mercy Health physicians Dr. Tariq Rizvi and Dr. Pradeep Gujja will be the providers offering the Watchman procedure. For more information, please call 937-523-2205.