AF Information & Advice For Patients
When diagnosed with AF a clinician needs to assess
- personal risk factors
- whether the heart rate (if it is too fast or too slow) needs to be managed
- whether the person is experiencing any symptoms due to AF which could be reduced through prescribing a therapy or procedure.
It is important to remember that even if treatment eliminates the symptoms of AF, the related risks remain and so assessment for stroke risk and heart rate is still very important.
Anticoagulants are a medication taken to reduce the risk of stroke caused by AF. They work by slowing down the clotting process of the blood.
Some AF patients are found to have a fast heart rate. If a heart rate is fast for much of the time (usually more than 100 beats per minute at rest), then there is a risk that the heart muscle may tire - this is known as ‘heart failure’. The most common medication used to slow the heart rate are beta blockers.
For some AF patients, there are no or few noticeable symptoms. However, for an estimated 50% of people diagnosed with AF, debilitating symptoms of varying severity can impact on their daily life.
The term ablation will be used frequently and in this context means the destruction of abnormal conducting tissue.
The LAAO device, in trials and in practice, has proven to be an effective option in reducing the risk of AF-related stroke in AF patients for whom an oral anticoagulant is unsafe or contraindicated.