Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) often remains undetected until someone suffers a stroke as a result of their AF. AF significantly increases a person’s risk of having a stroke without the correct medication to reduce this risk. So if you feel that you sometimes have an irregular pulse, it is worth making an appointment at your GP Practice. Healthcare professionals can tell by feeling your pulse whether the beat is irregular. There are now devices such as the AliveCor which many surgeries have. These devices can detect if you have an irregular rhythm known as AF. As you can see from the video below this only takes a matter of 30 seconds to have a reading and the heart trace is recorded on the device, this allows the healthcare professional to decide if any further tests are required such as a heart tracing known as an ECG.

The treatment used for the prevention of stroke when you have AF is medication to stop your blood from forming a clot. When you have AF you are at risk of forming a clot in the heart when the heart is beating irregularly. The risk is that this clot can cause a very serious and often fatal stroke. If you are diagnosed as having AF it is really important that you take your medication when you are instructed to, and you’ll need to continue this for the rest of your life. Sometimes, people forget to take their medication, and to prevent you missing your dose the Flo messaging system has been used to keep you on track. It is so important to keep taking the medication correctly which in turn will reduce the risk of you having a stroke. The Manage Your Health app has lots of information about AF, and it’s free to download.

A Closed Facebook Group has been set up to give support to patients who are taking these drugs. In addition, the Facebook page is used to give information to the general public about the importance of checking to see if you have an irregular heart beat. You can see videos about using Facebook below. There is also an animation describing how Flo works. Sometimes it may be appropriate to use video consultation for a follow up appointment, and there is a video below where this is being used for a patient with diabetes to save her making several bus journeys.

Managing Atrial Fibrillation

13:35 20.02.2018

Detecting undiagnosed AF has become much simpler with the advent of equipment such as AliveCor, which can be operated by a healthcare assistant, provided there are qualified personnel who can follow up with a full ECG, if AF is suspected.…

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