AF Association

Persistent AF

Hi all, according to my BP machine my heart is in an Irregular Heart Beat but when I take my pulse (ex nurse so good at taking a pulse) it feels normal including a good rhythm. My rate is between 60 - 70 but according to my monitor I have been in AF for about one week now. Does anyone else have this problem ... their pulse feels normal to take but a monitor is showing AF? Cheers

10 Replies

Could be flutter rather than fibrillation. Different side of the heart so ventricular rate and ergo pulse can be stable. An ECG is the only way of checking. Why not ask your GP for an ECG and see what is really happening. BP machines are very bad at knowing what is what.



I have a doctors appointment tomorrow so will have an ECG and an appointment with the EP on the 14 November ... not the best way to spend my Long Service Leave!


Hi deelan

Echo Bob's comments BP machines are notoriously bad at even measuring BP if you are in AF, let alone being accurate about being in it.

Ask for an ECG that will confirm or deny the existence of AF, as I am sure you know you need to look at the P wave activity.

However I am in persistent AF with a HR of around 70 - 80 and I cannot tell from taking my pulse, so it's entirely possible,

Be well



Is that right Bean counter ___ can you really not detect your AF from your pulse? I always thought that was where it is usually picked up , initially. Sandra


Hi Sandra

You can often detect the irregularity, but generally (sweeping statement here) not what the irregularity is, only an ECG can usually define if it is AF or not.

I do have heartbeat monitor on my phone and as a party trick I let someone else use it and see a nice sinus wave, and then I put my finger and the lens and scare the wits out of them. But it could be any of the arrhythmias as I understand it.


I have the same problem deelan. Had consultants app yesterday...ECG always shows irregular, BP monitor Dr said, 'ummm not bad', stethoscope reaction....'that is not good, with the ECG result I am very concerned!

I dont have AF, but DCM & ectopics. My heart rate is usually around 110


Hi, could I ask?

You mention look at P wave, this is the smaller second one on reading, what does it look like when in AF please?


This is a diagram showing the P wave... in AF the P wave isn't present


When my AF gets going at 200+bpm it can sometimes adopt a pattern in which there are two weak beats then one strong one: wwS wwS wwS wwS. When this is happening, I can only feel the strong beats on my wrist, so the rate appears three times lower than it really is, eg: 70 instead of 210.

This also applies to monitors that use infrared finger clips, which also don't indicate the correct rate. On one occasion I had been taken to A&E with a HR of 230, and the triage nurse at the door wouldn't listen to the paramedics because her finger clip monitor was indicating 86bpm. On another occasion I was laid in bed wired to an ECG indicating 210bpm, and the staff told me it was faulty because they could feel 70bpm on my wrist.


Thanks both of you :)


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