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Comprehensive Cardiac Care Repairs a Broken Heart

Heart failure could have cut short a young man’s life, but Scripps cardiologists gave him a second chance


Eric Roberts doesn’t remember much of August 2022. He spent most of the month at Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla recovering from acute heart failure. An echocardiogram showed he had an abnormal heart rhythm—which turned to heart failure with fluid in his lungs—and his health deteriorated quickly. His cardiologist determined that a complicated procedure, LAVA ECMO—short for left atrial venoarterial cannulation during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation—would be the best course of action. However, the procedure is performed by only a handful physicians in the U.S. But Roberts was in good hands. Scripps’ nationally ranked and comprehensive cardiology program is known for leading-edge treatments and advanced techniques and has a LAVA ECMO specialist on staff. Read more about Roberts’ ordeal and how he’s managing his recovery here. People often assume that heart failure patients are either elderly or have long histories of heart problems. But heart disease can and does affect people of all ages, and as illustrated by Roberts’ case, can strike without much warning. Click here for six ways to protect your heart from a Scripps Clinic cardiologist.For more nutrition, wellness, and healthy living tips, sign up for the San Diego Health newsletter here.

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