Just got back from A and E went in to af beats 150 ambulance took me but after1 hr my beats went down to 102 doc A and E said its not life threatening proximal af just a nuisance said don't call ambulance till Ibeen in one for 11 or 12 hrs that's when it could make my heart tired and that some have it beat at 200 or 300 beats but it was still frightening to me at 150

43 Replies

  • This makes me cross. Of course you were frightened and felt you needed help. I'd have done the same.

    Some people don't need to call an ambulance, it's there to pick them up off the pavements on a Saturday night when they've gone out with the sole purpose of getting completely off their heads.

    Don't feel guilty.

  • Jennifer Jane I was terrified just gone to bathroom when it came on could feel my heart pounding in my neck and ears plus paramedics said it was doing 150 and they wanted me to go in doc at A and E talked to me as though it was just an inconvenience

  • Mixed views on this subject. The longer you have AF the more you understand it and the less it will worry you. AF won't kill you but sometimes it feels that way. Paroxysmal AF is where it comes and goes and for those people can be distressing. I can see both sides.


  • Thanks Bob but I am new to all this and it really feels like I am going to die

  • Yes, the drs should take account of people's anxiety, you need reassurance not made to feel a nuisance. I haven't yet been diagnosed with AF - I'm waiting to see a cardiologist, but I can relate to your fear. The thing is you don't know how long or intense an episode is going to go on for, but yes I'm sure Bob is right when he says we'll get used to it.

  • Jennifer Jane I don't know it's Af I just going off A and E docs I also see cardiologist next month I have also had lung cancer had bottom of lung removed at Christmas finished chemo 6 weeks ago so don't need this on top

  • I think we can cope with things much better if people are patient and understanding - it's all part of the remedy surely. Yes, you're having more than your fair share at the moment - I wish you well.

  • Hi Suesteve! If the ambulance staff had been happy with you, they would have left you at home, so don't feel bad!

    Yes, as Bob says, after a while, AF doesn't frighten one so much but you need to know how to cope with it when it happens. We soon become knowledgeable about our own brand of AF. We're all different and with proper help and medication, we soon become experts at knowing how to treat AF and how to be on top of it..

    If you have an ECG, ask for a copy of it for your own benefit and take a photocopy of it with you to your GP or any specialist you are referred to.

  • Well my A+E have a totally different outlook. My heart rate goes up and then drops to 160 and if this continues at this rate for more than say 6hrs. I ring my GP or the health line. They always call an ambulance. When I last went to A+E, just over a year ago I was told off for not going in earlier. It's quite frightening when your heart is going berserk jumping about and you live on your own.

    Don't feel guilty at all.

  • That's my experience too. I've also been told not to hesitate to call for an ambulance if my heart rate stays 140 or over for more than a couple of hours...and yes, I've been told off for waiting too long. Actually I think we may live in the same part of the world..Mid/South Warwickshire?? The whole thing seems to be a bit of a lottery, doesn't it? I've always had first class care though.

  • I live in Warrington ches and the paramedic said I had done the right thing and said he could not leave me at home while it was racing at 160 but after it slowed to 120 after about hour the doc. In A E said I should have waited

  • I live in South Devon. Yes, I think we're just at the mercy of whichever registrar is in charge when we go into A+E.

  • Thanks JeanieJeannie This is the 3 time it's happened but it still terrifies me

  • Hi,I have PAF my episodes are not very frequent and so when one happens I feel very panicky and have been taken to A and E by husband and paramedics on a number of occasions. I have had PAF for 14 years.After first episode I was just sent on my way and left to get on with it. I now have a Pill in Pocket and that along with all the support and advice on this site are a huge source of comfort. You have had so much to contend with and it would have been a huge help to you to have been spoken to with some kindness and recognition of your medical history. It is a truly scary experience and it is easy to feel panicky. I do hope you get sorted out soon. My best wishes Kath.

  • Cat55 What is the pill in your pocket I'm on degoxin I had took this before the episode started today think I am so stressed out at the moment I go on Wednesday to see my encologist to see if Cancer is gone and I am scared in case it's not because I couldn't face anymore chemo thanks for understanding how I feel

  • Hi,The pill in pocket I take is propefanone, I believe others are taken by other people but so far it works for me. If still in AF after about half an hour then I take it, I also have fast AF. Good luck with appointments. Try not to worry too much about AF unpleasant though it is. Best wishes Kath

  • Cat 55 what other medication u on

  • Hi I take Thyroxin and Candesartan for blood pressure, was originally given Sotalol but didn't like the way it made me feel so I stopped it. I am certainly not advocating anyone stops medication without speaking to their doctor but as I mentioned I was just sent on my merry little way after first episode no follow up etc and didn't know what AF was, things are a lot different now. Apparently Sotalol is no longer recommended. I was extremely lucky in that I didn't have another episode for over a year. I really hope all goes well tomorrow, you may hopefully find that when you feel less stressed your AF becomes less problematic. Best wishes Kath

  • Good luck SueSteve for wednesday. I totally understand how you feel.cancer and AF. I too had both. Breast cancer in my case and of course youre terrified. Youve been to hell and back with everything youve been through. Future looks bleak from where youre standing at the moment but it neednt be.

    Get over wednesday and then attack this AF. Your cardiologist WILL help and make sure you ask loads of questions . Questions that worry you.

    I had an ablation for my PAF 6 weeks ago. So far so good Ive been fine. Ive had heart arrythmias for nearly 40 years and Im still here!!

    Good luck with everything but relax . Thecancer will be gone and theyll sort your AF.

  • Thank you so much Bridget I hope so what medications were u on

  • Hi I have been on different drugs over the years but now Im on flecainide and Warfarin. My aim is to get off the Flecainide if I can that is why I had an ablation but I have to wait until I see specialist .

    Every drug we take can cause problems to a bigger or lesser degree but if one doesnt suit you see your Gp or cardiologist in the future and discuss changing. There are always options.

    You will learn about AF but if like me youll never accept it. You know how you feel and trust your feelings. If you feel you need to go to hospital during an attack then go. I always have.

  • Bridget 54 Will do at the moment on Digoxin but want to change it because I have heard so much bad press about it just don't know what to do

  • I'm sorry your experience in A and E was so poor. I have always been treated with kindness and concern when I ended up there. Ended up in coronary care twice then flipped back to normal after a couple of hours. I think the rule of thumb is if YOU are worried then you go to hospital. I have been given various instructions as to when to go. GP said wait 20 minutes, nurse in coronary care said always come in and heart specialist said if it happens in the evening, don't eat or drink anything in case you need a cardio version but try and get back to sleep and come in next morning!!! I doubt the latter would work for me as I usually get a rate of 180 ish.

    As others have said you do get to know what is normal for you. Hope all as you would wish on Wednesday.

    Best wishes Wendy B

  • Thank you but I don't think I could wait 6 hrs feeling like I did

  • No me neither, that's what the exclamation marks were for.

  • Only you can know how you feel, and it's a scary condition when you first have it. Plus you've been through the mill - doctors shouldn't judge, just because they see things every day and get blasé about them, doesn't mean their patients feel the same and someone should remind them.

  • The doctor might see hundreds people with this condition but when it's happening to you it's no consolation it's horrible

  • O K I do understand how people can feel scared when a PAF event overtakes them but seriously does anybody expect sympathy and understanding in A and E? You may be lucky but more often than not the doctor who sees you will have been working for 16 hours in a department full of self inflicted injuries, drunks, footballers and middle aged motor cyclists etc and most likely at breaking point him/her self.

    One must also understand that local protocols will probably prevent any meaningful treatment other than observation or transfer to medical assessment ward. DCCV is seldom an option in A and E (except in films or for cardiac arrest) and many drugs are not allowed to A and E doctors.

    If we wish for understanding we must also give it.

    On the cancer front there are quite a few of us here who have battled both AF and cancer. Maybe I was lucky in having AF first as winning that battle prepared me very well for winning the second!


  • I agree with what you've said Bob but also for some being in a medical establishment is a reassurance in itself. I live a 25 min drive from nearest A&E and probably have the confidence to wait next time especially as my consultant said most of the stuff you are given there is to KEEP you in normal rhythm and not to chemically cardiovert you. This was in response to my query as to why my notes said " spontaneously returned to sinus rhythm" after I'd had IV amiodarone and oral digoxin 2 hours before arriving on CCU

  • U are lucky then Bob I doing both at same time not easy don't want to sound bad but we all bear our crosses differently and one size does not fit all

  • Hi suesteve

    I'm in perminant AF and was on a array of drugs

    But with side effects they carried I came off them

    On drugs not digoxon ( I was took off that early on ) my resting HR was around 80 bpm but used to rise with work or exercise

    This was deemed as acceptable as the heart needed a to be flexible

    I could feel my heart laying down after meals sometimes very alarming

    Now I'm off drugs and my worry is my heart will just give up as there is nothing to slow it down

    I feel better mostly but still have alarming moments my heart at rest is around 90 / 100

    But upon reading the race 2 study I'm less worried

    I have learned to try to relax and listen to how I. Feel as opposed to heart rate because worry shoves my heart up

    I guess if my heart gets stuck in first gear again I'll be back on drugs

    It's a condition I have to learn to live with as does many others

    And it's not easy sometimes but dwelling on it makes it worse

    My heart goes up to 145 cutting the grass

    But my reading may not be too accurate

    It returns to my normal when I stop

    So I understand your concerns but as you have been told it's more of a nuisance than a danger

    A contact with an Arrythmia nurse may help when concerns arise like this

    I've had this two years and just want it to go away

    I hope you get the answers you need to put you at ease

    Good luck 👌

  • Hard juice I am thinking of going on which my own GP gave me instead of Digoxin Bisprolol 1.25 mg to see if this stops these episodes of af the A a E put me on Digoxin and as I under 7 stone on 6.25 mg any input would be appreciated

  • If you have an AliveCor the reading will be very accurate.

  • As your heart condition has not been fully investigated yet the A and E doctor cannot say that your AF is merely a nuisance. When you have seen the cardiologist and had the appropriate tests done you can ask him for a plan as to when you need to go to hospital.

    The usual rules are something like: If you have pain in your chest area, if you are extremely breathless, if you faint or nearly faint or if it has been going for 12 hours BUT all that depends on the basic state of your heart so you need a personalised plan.

    In the meantime you have to go on how you feel and I can fully understand how you would feel panicky!

  • Thank you Buffafly I felt aching in middle of chest and breathless and my heart just racing hb 160 when paramedic got there and then went 150 and in hospital 102

  • Don't feel guilty it's always best to get the experts advice that's what they are there for!!!!!!

  • I was diagnosed with AF Friday 13th March and have had several bouts of chest pain and sever mis beating and an extremely fast heart rate. So far I have been told that if YOU feel that you have a problem Ring 999 and get Blue lighted to the hospital.. So far, I have had had three blue lights always at an inconvenient time like in the middle of the night, and have always found that the Drs and nurses say that this is the correct thing to do. Once they have you stabilised you are normally sent home. I jave also had an Angiogram and am now waiting for a Cardioversion which I am led to believe will reverse the AF into a normal Sinus rhythm............cant wait. I am getting fed up with late nights and early morning emergency's. Hope this is of some help

  • What drugs are u on for your af

  • Lost for words! Not exactly reassuring is it?? Might as well have said "don't make a fuss!"....grr!

  • Sue steve, a lot of doctors think you should be seen if HR is 150 so do go to A and E and ignore any unkind comments from staff there. better safe than sorry!!

  • Thanks RosyG no matter what I will go can't help it feel as though I'm dying when it comes on and no matter what doc says that I won't die from it I won't give it the chance just not able to wait hrs to see if it goes away

  • It all depends on the Doc you get at A & E - L was given a real hard time for going in by car and not calling an ambo.

    I wouldn't worry about that Quak - phone the ambo and let them make the call.

  • Problem for the lay person with a high heart above say 120bpm,

    Is this due to AF or to the more serious condition, VF?

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