Donate to Heart Rhythm Disorders Research, Patient Care and Education

The Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders is part of Northwestern Medicine’s nationally recognized Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. At the center, patients can seek care from a team of experts who specialize in treating conditions that cause the heart to beat irregularly or to beat too quickly or too slowly. By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of the Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders at Northwestern Medicine, you will provide crucial support to physicians and scientists who are dedicated to better understanding, diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders.

In order to produce a normal heartbeat, the heart needs an electrical impulse from its conduction system. The electrical signal starts in the upper chambers of the heart and makes its way down to the lower chambers of the heart. This causes the heart to contract and pump blood throughout the body. In patients with a heart rhythm disorder, the heart is beating too fast or too slow with an irregular rhythm. The three most common heart rhythm disorders are atrial fibrillation, sick sinus syndrome and ventricular tachycardia.

There are a number of different causes of heart rhythm disorders. These conditions may result from another heart condition, such as coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, thyroid dysfunction or electrolyte abnormalities. Heart rhythm disorders also may be the result of excessive caffeine consumption, stress, medication, illicit drugs and physical activity.

At the Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders, physicians strive to provide the most effective treatments available for heart rhythm disorders. With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will become a key player in meeting this goal. Your generosity will be a source of important support and funding that will accelerate the development of life-changing treatments. For now, there are several treatments available for patients with heart rhythm disorders:

  • Medication: Medication is typically the first step in treating heart rhythm disorders.
  • Cardioversion: A non-surgical procedure that sends a small amount of electric current to the heart in hopes of normalizing heart rhythm.
  • Catheter ablation: Another non-surgical procedure that locates and destroys abnormal electrical pathways in the heart.
  • Pacemaker: A pacemaker will prevent abnormal heart rates and rhythms by constantly monitoring the heart.  
  • Biventricular Pacemaker: A device about the size of a pager that stimulates the right and left ventricles of the heart to produce simultaneous contractions and effective pumping.
  • Classic maze procedures: An incision is made in the left and right atria to isolate abnormal electrical signals.
  • Left atrial appendage closure:  Several different procedures are used to cut off blood flow to the left atrial appendage to lessen the patient’s chance of a stroke.
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator: A small device that monitors heart rhythms in order to protect against abnormalities.

Heart Rhythm Disorders Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Heart rhythm disorders can be harmless, but for some people they may be life-threatening. The physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine’s Center for Heart Rhythm Disorders are devoted to making advancements in medical technologies and treatment approaches that will eliminate the threat posed by heart rhythm disorders and will allow people with these conditions to live life to the fullest. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will support this important work and will make a powerful difference in the health and lives of many patients. 

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