Device that reduces risk of atrial fibrillation being used in Colorado

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AURORA, Colo. -- A group of heart specialists in Colorado became the first in the region to implant a new device that could help reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation.

Cardiologists at the University of Colorado Hospital implant a new device that looks like a tiny umbrella.

It's called the watchman device and it seals off an area of the heart where blood clots can form.

Blood clots in the heart are sometimes caused by atrial fibrillation, a fast and abnormal heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation patients are at high risk of stroke and bleeding.

Jeff Fogle of Loveland was the first patient to get the watchman device after having bleeding on the brain. The procedure left him tired but ready to get back to his normal routine.

"I'm kind of under the microscope and under stress, and that made me really tired and I need to sleep," Fogle said of how he felt after the procedure. "Beyond that, I've been up, doing anything I want to do."

The watchman device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015. It's inserted into the heart through a guided catheter.