Jansen needed electric shock to stabilize heart

August 14th, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Not only did call 911 to report an irregular heartbeat last week, the Dodgers' closer said the situation required doctors in Denver to use an electrical shock in order to get his heart back into rhythm.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since he left the club and returned to Los Angeles before the four-game series in Denver this past weekend, Jansen insisted he was feeling good and was upbeat after throwing a 16-pitch "touch-and-feel" bullpen session.

His timetable for a return remains uncertain, but Jansen sounded confident he will return before the four-to-six-week recovery time that was originally reported.

"I feel much better; health-wise everything feels good," said Jansen, who has started taking blood thinners to help him to correct his latest issue with atrial fibrillation. "The minute they shocked me back in, I felt better. I feel great just working out again."

Jansen had surgery to correct the issue 2012 after experiencing an AFib episode in consecutive seasons. Because of his latest episode, he said he will likely have another surgical procedure this offseason. But he plans on pitching before then. He will meet with doctors again on Aug. 20.

"The 20th is going to be the key to listen to what is going to happen," Jansen said. "Right now, I'm going to keep taking my blood thinners and hopefully there are no side effects from the medication I'm taking, and I am pretty confident I will be back sooner than later."

Jansen said he remained calm while his heart started beating out of rhythm. He knew to not be anxious about the issue, something he learned after experiencing his original AFib episode.

"I just got done eating breakfast, drinking water and I felt my heart go back to AFib and immediately I knew," Jansen said. "I waited 15 minutes just to see if it would go back in and when it didn't go back in I called the trainers. They started talking to doctors and after 30 minutes went by, I decided to call 911 and just tell them the whole story and that I'm in AFib."

The Dodgers had arrived in Denver in the early morning hours Thursday, and Jansen admitted that a recent stomach bug while the team was in Oakland likely left him dehydrated. Jansen said dehydration was likely a bigger contributor to his condition than the altitude.

"They were quick to the hotel and from there I went to the hospital," he said. "Right away I told them the whole history of me and what happened and then they shocked my heart right back to normal."

Jansen was also in Denver when he first experienced an irregular heartbeat. Despite the connection, Jansen does not have any plans to avoid Denver.

"I'm going back to Denver, man; I'm going back," Janses said. "You can't be scared of life, man. I'm going back and I'm going to get over that hump and I am going to pitch back over there again. I'm confident in myself and not worried about that.

"Yes, altitude can cause things, but I feel great. If I am better and able to pitch and if we have to be in Denver and I have to pitch, I will probably pitch there again."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that Jansen will have more bullpen sessions on Wednesday and Friday. Jansen will also work out in the weight room this week. He will also travel with the club to Seattle for a series during the upcoming weekend.

"If it were up to Kenley he would pitch tonight," Roberts said. "Obviously there is a process we have to go through."

Roberts also said he does not expect Jansen to need four weeks to recover. It is good news for a bullpen that watched the Rockies celebrate walk-off victories Saturday and Sunday.

"At the back end, [Jansen's presence] kind of puts everyone in their rightful roles and positions to have success," Roberts said. "We play games close. That's just how we're built and what we do so to have that guy in the back end is huge. We'll get him back soon."