Gina Griedorn: A Mother and Cosmetologist
Traditionally it is middle-aged men who are thought of as sufferers of heart problems. But that is not the case anymore. Half of the heart patients across the nation are now women. And 28 percent are under age 45. At 41, Gina Griesdorn of Russia, Ohio falls right into these new statistics.
It seems that heart patients are getting far from typical and no one would ever have thought Gina would be at risk. She was an active mother and cosmetologist who ran regularly. Many would have called her a picture of health. But a few years ago she started having episodes where her heart raced, she grewshort of breath and had dizzy spells. She ignored them. But in time they got worse, and she wound up in the emergency room (ER). There, they monitored her heart beating at 150 beats per minute for almost an hour. The ER staff got her heart under control and Gina made an appointment with a Cardiologist.
For a month, she wore a heart monitor which gave the Cardiologist a portrait of the problem. Gina's condition was diagnosed as tachycardia and her choices were to live with it, be medicated and live with possible side effects, or undergo a procedure called cardiac cryoablation. The procedure is performed by only one physician in the region: Dr. Mark Krebs of MVH. Dr Krebs did a fellowship in Cardiology as well as special training as an electrophysiologist, focusing on the heart's electrical systems.
Because he works with the electrical pathways of the heart, Dr. Krebs sees a lot of patients who are considered healthy and have no prior history of heart disease. These arrhythmias can be minor or serious, but all should be evaluated by a Cardiologist. The younger the patient, the more likely there is a permanent solution such as cardiac cryoablation. The process freezes and destroys a tiny area of heart tissue where the electrical signal is malfunctioning. A catheter, a thin hollow tube, is inserted through a patient's vein and moved to an exact area of the heart. The highly-targeted probe at the end of the catheter is chilled to minus 70 degrees to affect the area without damaging other heart tissue around it. This new machine was paid for with gracious donor support from MVH Foundation.
Gina was Dayton's first cardiac cryoamblation. Now her heart problem is gone. She spent a few hours in the Cath Lab and went home the same day. She felt back to normal when leaving the hospital and attended classes at Wright State University only a few days later.
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