Guest blog from AF Association.
This week is Global AF Aware Week, 20-26 November 2017 which aims to raise awareness of Atrial fibrillation (AF), in particular identifying the undiagnosed person with AF.
AF is an arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm). It involves the upper chambers of the heart, the atria, beating irregularly. As the atria control the normal (sinus) rhythm of the heart, this means that your pulse rhythm becomes irregular.
A patient may not feel any symptoms when the heart rhythm changes from normal sinus rhythm to AF, and so it is often only detected by your doctor when you attend for other reasons. However, some patients may present with palpitations (being able to feel the increased and irregular heart rhythm), shortness of breath, fatigue or chest pains.
The quickest and simplest way to detect an arrhythmia such as AF is to Know Your Pulse:
Did you know…?
- One in four people will develop AF; it affects an estimated 1.5 million across the UK and in excess of 16 million worldwide.
- AF can be detected cheaply and easily with a simple manual pulse rhythm check.
- Every 15 seconds someone suffers an AF-related stroke, yet most can be prevented using appropriate anticoagulation therapy.
- AF, and AF related illness, costs the NHS over £2.2 billion each year
- AF Association is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year!
During November it is AF Association Global AF Aware Week, when we ask all our supporters to spread the word, whether this is by simply sharing and displaying information, holding an AF Awareness activity, or fundraising and donating to the AF Association.
You can connect with and speak to other people with atrial fibrillation (AF) on HealthUnlocked. Join this online community today.
About AF Association
AF Association supports individuals affected by, or involved in the care of AF. The charity supports members through various means, including a dedicated helpline and comprehensive resources. Our resources are written by experts in the field and are endorsed by the Department of Health, UK and cardiac societies and organisations globally. Meetings for patients and medical professionals, singly and combined, are held around the world. These offer patients and medical professionals a unique chance to discuss AF with leading experts, as well as the opportunity to share experiences with others.
AF Association hosts symposia at the international Heart Rhythm Congress (HRC) (www.heartrhythmcongress.org) annually, as well as a dedicated Patient Day on the Sunday of HRC.
AF Association also acts as Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on AF in parliament, London, UK.
AF Association was established following the number of enquiries Arrhythmia Alliance (www.heartrhythmalliance.org) received and when no other groups existed for people affected by atrial fibrillation. Prof A John Camm and Trudie Lobban MBE are co-founders of this truly global organisation.
Its ‘Know Your Pulse’ (www.knowyourpulse.org) campaign has led the way internationally in bringing about change into screening for AF and drastically reducing the number of AF-related strokes and saving countless lives.
AF Association also hosts www.HeartfofAF.org a site specifically for healthcare professionals providing latest updates and resources to deliver best practice for optimum outcomes for AF patient care. The annual AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report demonstrates best practice globally.