How quickly after being diagnosed with AF by a & e should i be able to see a cardiologist?

I am going to the doctors today to have blood thinness checked having been on warfarin since Thursday and to get some more. The hospital didnt give me anything for the racing heart beat because i am asthmatic and didnt want to give me beta blockers. Can the doctor give me something whilst i am waiting to see a cardiologist? I am so tired, my chest feels like someone is sitting on it all the time.

7 Replies

  • The warfarin is an anticoagulant to stop clots forming and the measurement is call INR . It doesn't thin the blood at all although people often erroneously say that.

    If you are asthmatic you should not take beta blockers but there are rhythm control drugs which a cardiologist may be able to prescribe but likely not your GP. Some areas have rapid access heart or chest pain clinics where you should be able to see a cardiologist within two weeks but many do not. AF is a long journey and there are few short cuts I'm afraid . We are all here to support each other so ask any specific question and we will try to help. At least you are on warfarin as your greatest risk otherwise was stroke as AF makes one five times more likely to have a stroke.


  • Hi tiredandconfused and welcome to the forum

    OK just a small correction if I may, the blood test today for warfarin doesn't check how thin the blood is, it checks how long it takes to coagulate, and they will probably want you at 2.5 which is 2.5 times longer than usual.

    Your blood is actually no thinner whatsoever that before taking warfarin, it has the same viscosity as before, it simply does not coagulate as quickly.

    Now to the main and important part of your question, you should ask your doctor today when you will be seeing your Cardio/EP and it should be as soon as possible.

    With regard to beta blockers, at least ask the doctor again, I have no medical training whatsoever, but some beta blockers such as bisoprolol are "cardio-selective" in that they act more on the heart than on the beta receptors in the lungs which would affect asthma. Also there are drugs called calcium channel blockers such as Diltiazem, which will, like a beta blocker, slow your heart but have less effect on asthma.

    Be well


  • Sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell tiredand confused- I agree with the other responses- do press to see a cardiologist as soon as possible. One further point about the beta blockers- if you have the vagal type of AF ( starts at night or after meals and is to do with different controls of the nervous system) then both beta blockers and digoxin are contra- indicated and my GPs didn't know about that- if beta blockers and digoxin are given it can prolong AF in the case of vagal AF.

    hope you get some answers soon and insist on urgent referral because of your asthma and needing specialist advice re medication

  • Hi thank you all, that has cleared up about the blood test then, it wasnt explained to me at the hospital, not a lot was to be honest.

    The AF is persistent. Looking back i think i may have had it intermittently previously I just didn't realise but i can think of a few episodes going back over three years where i had a couple of days of it and then it passed. I put it down to tiredness to be honest. Now it's there all the time and has been for a while.

    I am extremely tired, my chest still feels like someone is sitting on it and have a permanent headache. I will have a long chat with the doctor today.

    thank you all for responding, this forum is so good to have, i don't feel so alone as i did on Thursday night now, though i do admit to feeling a little scared of how quickly i have gone from feeling a bit off to feeling really poorly.

  • Hello tiredandconfused

    How long to see a cardio after being diagnosed with AF by A&E? Well in my case it was almost immediate, I went to A&E (told to go by my GP who I phoned when feeling very ill) and A&E sent me straight to the coronary ward where I stayed, monitored 24/7, till they found the drug which worked on me, then sent me home with an appointment to see an EP a few week/months later. It was quite a large hospital, wouldn't get that where we are now out in the sticks. I was in for over a week.

    I had a feeling in my head, found it difficult and slow to stand, felt giddy if I stood up and my chest didn't feel right but I can't remember all the feelings (this was 12 years ago). My AF had gone from occasional to 24/7 pretty quickly, can't put actual times on it.

    So I suppose it depends how bad you feel and (edited) how quickly it is getting worse.


  • G'day tired and confused,

    From AF onset I was only 9 hours until I was diagnosed and treatment started. Placed on Consultants list immediately and saw him next day ( I was admitted about 7 pm and A & E got their hands on me first then off to Cardiac ward and kept in hospital for 6 days until all sorts of tests done and stabilised on Warfarin.

    Propajob !

    Aussie John

  • Well bit of an update. I went to GP to have the levels monitored and whilst there told her I felt really ill, massive head ache, crushing feeling on chest and my heart rate with through the roof. She called an ambulance. Second time in 4 days. I was re-admitted last night and as a result say the consultant cardiologist, and had a cardiac nurse assigned who will carry out he cardioversion. I have been given a supply of warfarin to last a month whilst GP sorts out with anti coagulation clinic who is monitoring me. I know have a combination of drugs Digoxin and Dilitiazem MR (tildiem LA). I am already starting to feel a little better and am hopeful in a few days I will feel a lot better. I'm awaiting the echo cardiogram to check my heart out, but so far it consultant feels it is my ever changing blood pressure that may be causing it. We shall see when all the tests are in.

    I'd like to say thank you though to those that commented, it gave me the confidence to say to the doc i need help here. Luckily for me, she responded by phoning A & E and saying i'm sending her in but she needs to see the cardiologist not the A & E docs. They agreed and the journey has now started. Thank you all xx

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