Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a tachy- arrhythmia associated with primarily unsystematic atrial activation those results in deterioration of atrial function. This disorder affects approximately 1.3% of the people in England and Wales (Cottrell, 2011). The risk of developing AF…
Its symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness. Other symptoms of AF include poor exercise intolerance, generalized weakness, and irregular pulse (Cottrell, 2011). It can also result in death. Despite this, over 90% of the victims of AF maybe not show any symptoms (Cottrell, 2011). The risk factors of AF include degeneration heart disease and atherosclerosis. Obesity, hypertension as well as metabolic syndrome and diabetes that are associated with cardiovascular disease are also the risk factors for AF (Cottrell, 2011 and Campbell-Cole & Lee, 2014). Apart from the structural complications of the heart, causes of AF may also be as a result of the thoracic surgery as well as coronary artery bypass grafts. Complications of AF include stroke, heart failure, and in severe can lead to death (Campbell-Cole & Lee, 2014).
AF is often diagnosed by an irregular pulse. However, this is often confirmed by ECG (Elliott, 2014). Use of ECG helps one to identify acute changes and co-existing cardiac abnormalities like left-ventricular hypertrophy (Elliott, 2014). Management of this disorder includes considering patients with AF for anticoagulation. However, anticoagulation may also increase the risk of serious bleeding, and as a result of this, patients need to be informed about AF and treatment options (Elliott, 2014). According to Roberts and his colleagues (2015), warfarin therapy is crucial for prevention of systematic embolism as well as stroke associated with AF. It also aids in the prevention of venous thromboembolism. The decision for use of warfarin in stroke prevention is based on the CHADS2 score; 1 point for congestive heart failure, age above 75 years, hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and 2 points for transient ischaemic attack (Roberts et al., 2015). Patients using warfarin should be cared through approaches such as usual care by the GP, patient self-monitoring, and laboratory care program. As a ...
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