Dick Cheney Goes to the Hospital With New Heart Problems

By Eliza Strickland | October 15, 2008 5:12 pm

Dick CheneyVice-President Dick Cheney went to the hospital this afternoon after his doctors detected an abnormal rhythm to his heartbeat. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, meaning that the upper chambers of his heart, the atria, weren’t beating properly, and doctors prepared to give his heart an electric shock to restore its proper rhythm.

Atrial fibrillation isn’t an immediately life-threatening condition, unlike ventricular fibrillation, when the heart’s lower chambers stop beating, blood stops pumping, and the body begins to shut down. Patients with atrial fibrillation may feel palpitations or shortness of breath, but often it causes no symptoms at all. When it happens, blood isn’t pumped completely out of the atria. That increases the likelihood that the blood will form a clot, which can then travel into the brain and cause a stroke. That’s the most important reason for treating the condition [The Wall Street Journal health blog].

Cheney also experienced an abnormal rhythm in the upper chambers of his heart November 26. His normal heart rhythm was restored through a procedure called cardioversion [CNN]. Doctors are expected to perform the same short out-patient procedure this time, in which Cheney will be sedated and an electric shock will be administered to his heart to jump-start his atria and get them beating normally again.

The 67-year-old vice-president has a long history of heart disease. Cheney has had four heart attacks, starting when he was 37 years old, and many related doctor and hospital visits over the years since. He has had quadruple bypass surgery and two artery-clearing angioplasties. In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest. The pacemaker’s battery was replaced last year, and then the entire device was replaced [AP].

Related Content:
DISCOVER: Young at Heart, investigating whether doctors can revitalize heart muscle
DISCOVER: Can Stem Cells Save Dying Hearts?

Image: White House/David Bohrer

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
  • Denise

    So are you saying they rebooted him????/

  • Ian

    He’s had more heart problems then he’s had draft deferments.

  • Andrew Yu-Jen Wang

    [This irrelevant comment was removed.]

  • libsmasher

    Lil Andy said, “Maybe God is judging and punishing Cheney in afflicting Cheney with further heart problems in the here and now (15 October 2008) notwithstanding God’s fiery judgment against Cheney in the afterlife.”

    Now come on Andrew, you know Marxists do not believe in God. I do not understand how you think an imaginary being will punish this great man. I, on the other hand, do believe in God and think it highly more probable that you will burn in hell because of the immoral things the left practices and protects. I am sure God is pissed about all the babies you wacky liberals kill.

  • http://www.haargroeispecialist.nl Revita man

    It’s carma

  • http://capoeirameister.de/ Chang Kaner

    Can I just say what a relief to search out someone who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know how one can bring a difficulty to light and make it important. More people have to read this and perceive this side of the story. I cant believe youre no more widespread because you positively have the gift.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

80beats

80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »