Kennedy Westfall, Michael Wirick, Carolyn Mullins
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms. Those who do have symptoms may experience:
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Case Study: Smith, John(age 40)
After John Smith was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, the doctor listed some goals for treatment to accomplish. These include heart rhythm control, heart rate control, blood clot prevention, and preventing heart failure and stroke. Treatment of AFib first uses a procedure called cardioversion that resets the heart to its regular rhythm. Following that, the doctor may prescribe beta and/or calcium blockers that slow the heart rate and can help improve symptoms. They do not 'cure' the rhythm and patients still require medication to prevent strokes while remaining in atrial fibrillation. Knowing this, John's doctor decided to start with cardioversion and prescribe an anti-arrhythmic medications to help prevent future episodes.
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Atrial Fibrillation." Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/basics/definition/con-20027014>.