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Fast Action Revives Patient Pronounced ‘Dead’

Gilbert Resident Treated by East Valley Electrophysiologist after Pronounced ‘Dead’ during Routine Office Visit

Case Vividly Depicts Seriousness of Heart Challenges, Treatment & Prevention Physician/Founder of Mesa’s new Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute Treats Patient

Mesa, Ariz. (March 1, 2007) -- Valentine’s Day 2007 has come and gone, but matters of heart health remain a major medical concern year-round. Unfortunately, breathtaking statistics prove that the preponderance of these concerns is well placed.

While other diseases seem to grab more headlines and lapel ribbons, a segment of heart care unfortunately boasts a surpassing statistic: 450,000 people die each year of sudden cardiac death caused by heart rhythm disorders. That's more than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined!

One recent case vividly tells the story: An East Valley resident who was pronounced clinically dead was later treated by physician Himanshu H. Shukla, an electrophysiologist and founder of the new Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute in Mesa. Electrophysiology is a specialty within the field of cardiology that deals with the electrical impulses that regulate a heart beat.

This story depicts the seriousness of heart arrhythmia, yet also the care, expertise and East Valley resources available to literally extend a life, if not cure heart arrhythmia and other heart ailments altogether.

“I was called in and literally raced to Mercy Gilbert hospital where I was able to treat the patient,” said Shukla. “We certainly won’t describe this case as routine, and it certainly is not, but with the progress of cardiac care today combined with the ability to put the latest knowledge into action, we were able to see this to a good ending at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.”

Perhaps an understatement if there ever was one.

One recent Tuesday morning, a patient collapsed in her internist’s office due to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). CRP was performed along with external defibrillation, reviving her. She was immediately transferred via ambulance to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center to be consulted by Dr. Rajeev Akhtar of Pioneer Cardiology. Dr. Akhtar, a cardiologist, immediately consulted with the patient about understanding that Dr. Shukla would need to treat her with an implantable defibrillator. That very day, she was implanted with a defibrillator, providing her with life-saving therapy.

The patient can now be assured that she is protected with a life-saving device that will give her the peace of mind that this will not happen again.

Dr. Himanshu Shukla specializes in treating heart rhythm disorders and is founder of the new Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (CAI) dedicated to providing heart care customized to the individual. Dr. Shukla is a member of the Heart Rhythm Society, has completed training at Columbia University in New York City, the University of Missouri and the University of Oklahoma. He is recognized for numerous published articles on the treatment of heart rhythm disorders, and by the American Heart Association for Outstanding Research. Dr. Shukla’s community works include raising awareness of heart rhythm disorders, safety and prevention measures, and contributing external defibrillators to local public schools.

The Mesa-based Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute is focused on treating electrical disorders of the heart. The Institute serves as a community resource for patients and physicians alike to obtain the latest information and care for heart rhythm disorders.

Gilbert’s first full-service hospital, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is part of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), and longtime sponsors the Sisters of Mercy who have a 113-year history in the greater Phoenix metro area, including the prestigious St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. The new Gilbert facility is a four-story, full-service, acute-care hospital spanning 60 acres. An additional 40 acres slated to house a medical office building, research and lab facilities will complete the campus. The hospital houses 88 private rooms and four special care nursery beds with the capacity to grow to 400 beds over the next five years. The facility is located at the intersection of Val Vista Drive and Loop 202. For more information, visit or call 480.728.8000.