Learn how to take your pulse. Download resources and watch our instructional video below:
Why should you ‘Know Your Pulse’?
- The easiest way to detect an arrhythmia is to feel the pulse to feel your heart rhythm – uneven, too fast, too slow?
- More than three million Britons are affected by an arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)
- Heart rhythm disorders are Britain’s biggest killer
- Arrhythmias cause at least 100,000 sudden cardiac deaths each year in the UK; over 250 every day, more deaths than breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDS combined
- Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, causes 12,000 debilitating and fatal AF-related strokes in the UK each year. Many could be avoided if they are diagnosed and appropriate anticoagulation therapy is prescribed.
- At the age of 40, we all have a 25% life-time risk of developing AF which increases the risk of stroke 500%
- 120,000 people experience unexplained loss of consciousness each year, commonly a sign of a heart rhythm disorder
- 39% of children and 30% of adults diagnosed with epilepsy are mis-diagnosed, and many have an underlying, potentially fatal, arrhythmia
- There is currently no national programme of pulse checks or heart rhythm screening