Healthwatch: Atrial Fibrillation protocols at Aurora BayCare Medical Center

Health Watch

Mark McCartney does not remember much about his stay in Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“It was a blur to me,” he described.

He had been admitted after doctors found evidence of Atrial Fibrillation, a condition in which the heart is not able to pump blood as efficiently as normal, putting patients at risk for heart attack or stroke.

McCartney decided to visit his doctor after experiencing shortness of breath. Shortly after his condition was discovered, he made the trip to the Emergency Department.

“All I know is I had constant monitoring,” he said of his experience, “people coming in and checking on me continuously. I had great care while I was here.”

Bryan Stoppenbach, a Physician Assistant in Aurora BayCare’s Emergency Department, said that the ED works closely with other departments within the hospital when treating a patient with AFib.

“We’re in very close contact with both the Electrophysiology Department and Cardiology Department,” he explained. “Them lending their expertise within minutes provides excellent care for the patient.”

In McCartney’s case, that meant enlisting the help of Dr. Vinay Mehta and the rest of the AFib team.

“They immediately set the train in motion,” Dr. Mehta, an Aurora BayCare Medical Center electrophysiologist said.

For McCartney, getting that train in motion quickly was vitally important.

“He had heart failure along with Atrial Fibrillation,” Dr. Mehta explained. “His heart muscle was extremely weak and the heart pump function was very weak.”

“I came in in very, very poor condition,” McCartney added. “In fact, I shouldn’t even be alive today.”

Thanks to swift teamwork within Aurora BayCare, he’s now working toward getting back to normal, while continuing to monitor his condition with Dr. Mehta.

“I’m doing great,” McCartney said. “With the medication plan I’m on right now, I’m almost back to a normal life, which my grandkids are very thankful for.”

To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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