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There are more than 26 million people world wide are suffering from heart failure. / Photo by: Getty Images

 

Meera Senthilingam, writing for CNN, revealed that about 5.7 million Americans suffer from heart failure, while globally, the number is pegged at around 26 million. In her article published on boston.cbslocal.com, she explained that the condition causes tiredness and shortness of breath because the heart is having difficulty pumping blood around the body.

She also mentioned that one cause of heart failure is because the mitral valve, which controls the flow of blood in the left side of the heart, has a leak, which results in the blood flowing backward instead of going to the rest of the body when it is pumped out. A severe leakage, Senthilingam wrote, can cause the heart to enlarge, leading to a more serious and even fatal condition.

Fortunately, there’s a new device that can give hope to people who suffer from heart failure.

Called the MitraClip, the device works by clipping back together the faulty valve, making it work properly so that the blood is pumped out of the heart and toward the other parts of the body. So far, it has shown positive results in an ongoing study.

Not to say that there aren’t other ways of easing the problems regarding the mitral valve, but the current methods are deemed not ideal. Drugs, for example, are getting experts wary of their long-term side effects. Surgery is another option, but it poses some serious risks in patients who are often the elderly and are not strong enough to handle the procedure.

The implementation of the MitraClip is minimally invasive, according to the article. It is introduced to the body through a very small cut in the groin and then guided up until it reaches the heart. The procedure has been proven to significantly reduce hospitalization and the time to make a full recovery.

First introduced in 2003, the MitraClip was approved by the FDA 10 years later as treatment for the main form of mitral regurgitation.