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Governor hospitalized Wednesday for “routine procedure”

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley was hospitalized Wednesday for treatment of an irregular heartbeat, involving what his spokesperson said was a “common, routine procedure.”

Bentley’s spokesperson, Yasamie August, said Wednesday that Bentley was admitted to Baptist Medical Center South for treatment of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes the upper chambers of the heart to beat out of sync with the lower chambers.

Bentley, who is 74, was later sent home after receiving the treatment. His office said he was ready to get back to work on key legislation like the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative, which is set to go before a committee Thursday for review.

“Governor Bentley is feeling well and there are no serious medical concerns,” August said.

A statement from the hospital released by Bentley’s office Wednesday said his heartbeat was restored with a trans-esophageal echocardiogram and a cardioversion procedure. The procedures check for blood clots and restore a synchronized beat to the heart using an electrical shock.

“On behalf of the staff at Baptist South, it is our pleasure to have provided care for Governor Bentley,” said Tiffany Bass, director of cardiovascular services at Baptist Medical Center South.

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If atrial fibrillation is left untreated, it can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. After the treatment, though, there are said to be no major medical issues.

Bentley seemed to be in good health when he attended the 31st Annual Seafood Bash, a reception hosted by State seafood business for legislators, Tuesday night. He was admitted to the hospital early Wednesday morning.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday afternoon at about 1 p.m., Bentley thanked doctors and nurses at Baptist South and said he was headed “back to work.”

Email Chip Brownlee at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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