Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Daryl Sieg


atrial fibrillation, embolus, anticoagulant therapy, Watchman’s device, left atrial appendage closure


Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac disease that occurs as individuals age. One of the risk factors of atrial fibrillation is blood clot formation or embolus in the left atrium. Current treatment methods to prevent clot formation include a variety of anticoagulants, and left atrial appendage closure devices, specifically the relatively new Watchman’s device, the only FDA approved left atrial appendage closure device. This literature review researched articles comparing the differences in both long-term anticoagulation therapy and Watchman’s device for blood clot prevention. Study results confirm the rising efficacy and cost effectiveness of Watchman’s device versus long term anticoagulant therapy as well as their adverse effects regarding placement and post procedure; however further randomized control trials are needed as mentioned by the authors referenced in this paper, comparing both therapies particularly novel oral anticoagulants head to head rather than through extrapolation. Long term effects of Watchman’s device also need to be studied.