According to a new study that was presented at Cardiotism 2012, the CHADS2 score, which is calculated on a regular basis as a means of predicting whether a coronary bypass surgery patient runs the risk of having a stroke, also helps determine which of those patients will develop atrial fibrillation (AF).
The study’s author, Dr. Alireza Nazeri of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, told heartwire, “The CHADS2 is already validated and easy to use. This study shows it can also predict the incidence of post-op afib. It’s the simplest thing because all of these risk factors are also the risk factors for post-op complications, as shown in other studies, (including) post-op atrial fibrillation.”
For this study, Nazeri and colleagues analyzed data collected from 5,985 patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass from 2001 till 2010. The researchers excluded the patients who had a history of AF or valve disease. From there, the researchers were able to identify the frequency of postoperative AF in three different CHADS2 score intervals. Those intervals included: 0–1 which is low, 2–3 which is medium and high. What they discovered is that 1,611 patients had a post-op AF episode. The patients that had the high CHADS2 scores were found to be 1.9 times more likely to suffer from post-op AF than the patients in the low score group.
“Everybody, when they go to the patient’s bedside and see the patient going into CABG, already uses the CHADS2 score,” Nazeri said. “Use it, and you’ll know if the patient is at high risk for afib. So if I know that, I want to make sure the patient is on beta blockers pre-op and I want to make sure, if I can, that they start on amiodarone. That’s key because I know that if I give amiodarone to somebody at low risk for afib, I’m just going to be buying the risks of amiodarone, but if I use it somebody at high risk for afib and I already know that, then I can have a risk/benefit ratio that is more beneficial.”
This study is significant because being able to predict stroke risks for AF patients can help reduce the amount of medications the patients take. Some of the drugs currently used for AF patients trying to prevent strokes include anticoagulants like Warfarin and Multaq. Multaq has been proven to be extremely dangerous; research and clinical trials have proven that the drug causes patients to develop liver failure and a worsening of their heart conditions. The FDA does not recommend using Multaq unless all other drugs have failed.
If you or a loved one have developed liver failure or a worsening of your heart condition after using Multaq, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.