Atrial Fibrillation, or Afib, is a common cardiac rhythm disturbance that increases in risk with advancing age and affects more than 3 million Americans every year. (Hague, 2014) As prevalent as Afib is, patients don’t seem to be very aware of tools available to help them monitor their condition nor the benefits of taking a much more active role in the management of their Afib.
It is widely proven that Afib presents many health risks. The most concerning is the elevated risk of stroke for Afib patients. These risks increase drastically when patients are unaware if they are affected by or in Afib. Patients can get more involved and there are affordable heart rhythm monitors that accurately detect Afib available to patients that are extremely easy to use.
Dr. Robert Baker, who has been practicing cardiology for 18 years, has learned firsthand how failing to home monitor is detrimental to patients with Afib. More importantly, exploring any heart rhythm disturbances is key to discovering whether you are affected by Afib.
“The dangers of stroke increase in patients who are unaware of their Afib condition,” Dr. Baker states. “Nearly 75% of strokes associated with atrial fibrillation result in death or leave the patient permanently unable to care for themselves.”
Afib is a condition that should not be taken lightly. In addition to the risk of stroke, it can increase the risk of heart failure and overall weakens the heart muscles. Fortunately, Afib is something that can be monitored and managed with the right diagnosis and tools.
When a patient is diagnosed with Afib, they are often concerned about what symptoms they will experience and how they can manage them. “Afib is often asymptomatic and there aren’t many indicators that someone is in the arrhythmia,” Dr. Baker states. “Even after ablation, it is very important for monitoring to be ongoing as an outpatient.”
Heart rhythm monitoring products have improved the ability for patients to manage their Afib from home as often as they like and for very little cost. According to Dr. Baker, with reliable technology, notifying a physician when the patient monitors an Afib episode has greatly improved communication and control of one’s Afib.
“When choosing a product for my patients, ease of use and reliability are the most important components that a technology should have,” Dr. Baker states. “The AFibAlert has proven successful in reliably monitoring patients that have used it.”
At home monitoring can increase the quality of life in patients with Afib. It is important to manage symptoms, as well as monitoring oneself to detect episodes when there aren’t symptoms present or noticeable. Heart rhythm monitors with the ability to detect Afib are key to monitoring at home.
Haque, Harisul. “2014 Guideline for the Management of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).” Univ. Heart J. University Heart Journal 9.1 (2014)
Dr. Robert Baker has been practicing cardiology for 18 years. His experience with home monitoring in patients has allowed him to learn the importance and necessity of outpatient AFib monitoring.