Local hospital highlights an option to help prevent strokes in high risk patients

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JOPLIN, Mo. — A local hospital is highlighting an option to help prevent strokes among high risk patients.

Freeman Health System is offering the Watchman implant.

The device is inserted into the left atrial appendage of the heart.

Doctors have traditionally used blood thinners like Coumadin to reduce risks, but say that can lead to potentially serious side effects.

Ryan Longnecker, Cardiologist, said, “The data and the research so far that having the Watchman device is as effective as Coumadin thereapy long term for reducing the risk of stroke.”

Cardiologist Dr. Ryan Longnecker says that can prevent up to 90% of strokes in high risk patients.

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