Atrial Fibrillation & Blood Clots
What is Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)
Atrial fibrillation is a type of cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Electrical impulses instruct each part of the heart to beat in sync with the other parts of the heart.
When you have Afib, the electrical signals are disorganized and cause the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) to beat rapidly and chaotically. This prevents blood from flowing
through the heart properly.
This can lead to blood pooling in the chambers of the heart, possibly resulting in blood clots.
Symptoms of Afib Bloodclots
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Some patients will not experience any symptoms
Prevention of Blood Clots with Afib
- Your doctor may prescribe blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming. A normal heart rate and rhythm also may be restored with medication.
- Treat underlying conditions that contribute to Afib (atrial fibrillation)
Afib by the Numbers:
- The CDC estimates that Afib affects over 2.5 million Americans.
- 350,000 hospitalizations every year are attributed to Afib.
- People with Afib are nearly 5X more likely to suffer a stroke. Stroke is the most serious complication of Afib.
- Afib related strokes are nearly twice as fatal and twice as disabling as non-Afib related strokes.
- 1 in every 6 strokes is due to Afib.