Over one million people have been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in the UK alone, however experts estimate that at least a third of people don’t even know they have it.
In Tameside and Glossop there are approximately 4,522 people who have been diagnosed and around 432 people have a stroke per year, of which 69 were related to having AF (SSNAP Data 2017).
An easy and effective way to detect the identification and management of AF is by using a AliveCor Kadia device, an exciting, innovative piece of technology funded by Health Innovation Manchester.
Many GP practices in Tameside and Glossop are utilising the device for patients with suspected AF by integrating its use in to new patient checks, appointments and clinics, and of patients with a long term health condition or who are experiencing palpitations; breathlessness/dyspnoea; syncope/ dizziness; chest discomfort and stroke/transient ischaemic attack.
AF is a common heart condition which causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. Having AF can increase your risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.
Ask your health professional whether you would benefit from a pulse check. Upon detection of AF, your health professional will develop a treatment plan for you and you should be reviewed annually.
Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body GP member for Living Well, said:
“The use of the AliveCor device can support the detection of Atrial Fibrillation. In many cases a simple pulse check can give you a good indication of whether you have the disease, then your GP will request a more detailed ECG before a diagnosis can be made.”
Ingrid Brindle, Patient Neighbourhood Group Chair, from Hyde shares her experience of AF and would encourage anyone to get a pulse check. She said:
“I’m really pleased that many surgeries in Tameside and Glossop are now using the Alive Cor device which can help the detection of AF as having an arrhythmia attack can be very frightening!
“It happened to me several times in the middle of the night. I would be sitting up in bed with my heart pounding, feeling sick and dizzy, needing to go to the bathroom and short of breath. I was never sure whether to call an ambulance. In my case AF was very irregular so when I visited the doctor the next day I would be examined thoroughly but of course there would be no evidence of what had happened.”
Ingrid is very passionate about raising awareness of AF and is working with GP surgeries to keep awareness high.
Follow us on Twitter (@TGCCG and @TamesideCouncil) and Facebook.