Ae or not to ae that is the question

I get conflicting views on whether or not to go to ae. My episodes usually last anywhere from half hour to overnight. I also have heart failure and couple other heart complications. I went to ae last weekend as episode had me unable to walk couple meters and on monitor was jumping between 60-245 at highest. One doctor said you should of waited to see if it flips back itself. Another doctor said with your history always come straight up. So who do I take notice of. In af right now and dont know what to do for best x

16 Replies

  • Jules, in your position I would take notice of the medic who told you to come straight in. How long would you wait? It's a long time to morning . Go in is my advice. I have had alot of experience with AF & AE visits & have always been told I did the right thing.

    Regards Sandra

  • me too Jules, better to go in .I've never been told it wasn't the right thing to do. although now after 4months since diagnosis I seem to be settling down! Should I have said that,? You take care.

  • I also say go straight to A & E.

    Don't be intimidated, it's your life and you will feel more reassured by being there.


  • "One doctor said you should of waited to see if it flips back itself."

    Unbelievable, ignore that doctor if you ask me. If you want to go to A&E then go to A&E.

  • Thanks everyone went up and flipped back into normal rhythmn half hour ago so now home and going to bed soon. Doc today told me I have to go up no matter what and he was from the cardiology dept so ill take notice of him from now on x

  • Absolutely go to A and E- very irresponsible of the first doctor!1 Take care

  • If you live in Lincoln, don't bother, the care in A&E for AF is abysmal.

    I was told by the cardiologist to go there if my heart was in AF over 2hours only to find I was pushed into a bay and asked by the registrar what I wanted?? Then told my heart would go back into rhythm eventually and stop drinking coffee. Very helpful!!

  • Definitely go to A&E because if things change you are in the right place for treatment right away. Policy doe seem to vary a lot. Unfortunately many doctors don't know much about AF and very little about treatment options. Thinking and knowledge and ablations have changed quite a bit in last 10 to 15 years. Catheter ablations only started in 1999. One Saturday I had very low BP and just rested. Then next week when I saw my GP she said that I definitely should have gone straight to A&E.

    Glad you are back home.

  • Know how you feel so frustrating ,one says at once another says 24hrs another 36hours another says well what do you want us to do ,feel like saying your the expert aren't you suposed to tell me in the end like someone said it is your life they are dealing with, my daughter works for st Johns Ambulance and she says call 000everytime ,if they send you home they send you home.

  • I found that going to A&E was tiring, uncomfortable and unproductive for just plain old AF - but you have complications - so I agree that if you feel unwell with AF, then ring 999 (or is it now 000?). The paramedics are often much kinder, more knowledgeable and on hand to help if you need immediate attention and if not in my experience, they will consult with a cardiologist not an A&E doctor, as to whether or not you need hospital admission - but that may just be because I live in an area where they are happy to get a 'shout' because I live in a town that has a paramedic Centre but the hospital is a 25 min drive away when I needed to call them they had had a very quite day.

    I do hope you are being treated by an effective EP? Ask him/her for specific guidelines as to what to do, when to call for help and who to call.

    Not all doctors are knowledgable, kind or polite. A&E doctors are often overworked, feel overloaded and stressed so unless you are in a life threatening situation they don't really know what to do for you as they will often refer you back to your consultant rather than treat you, huge generalization of course. I think we all have to remember that it is a life threatening emergency department which in most cases, certainly in ours, is overwhelmed most days.

  • My advice as I was advised call an ambulance and do not come through a and e by yourself. I ended up taking myself off to a and e got my son to drive me. Sat in cubicle in a and e when like you my heart went up to 256 was loosing conciousness and speedily taken in resus. I was politely told people like drunk people call abulances and people like us who have a heart conditions dont. Go to a and e but call 999 first they will assess you and decide whether you need to go. Hope this helps. Are you on pip fecainide. Regards Chris

  • Thanks everyone. Im feeling fine this morning. Im under a brill team of doctors at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne but when in af just go to my local hospital. Im due to see my cardiologist at Freeman so ill be telling him that ive had more episodes of af in last few weeks. Going to see if my pmaker/defibrillator getting put back in but i will tell him.bout the af first as I know even with machine in ill still get af. Ill update when I know x

  • When you see him, ask your cardiologist for guidelines.

    It would also helpful to have a phone number where he or a colleague can be contacted and asked for advice. I found staff at the Ambulatory Care Unit at a hospital a distance from where I live were very helpful when I once rang. My local primary care unit/first aid post is good if you have some trivial injury.

  • I have always gone to A&E as my doctor said it was the right thing to do but having had 5 episodes over the last four months am fed up with them sticking needles in me and feeling like a pin cushion. Might try and 'ride' the next one out as they usually last about 6 to 10 hours and my heart rate jiggles between 60 and 160 bpm. What's the consensuse on me trying this?

  • When I went in first time I was ticked off by the consultant in resus for not calling an ambulance sooner, so that's what I did thereafter. It wasn't long though, before they started getting fed up and treating me like a timewaster.

    Because of that I waited for several hours when I had an episode in June 2014 and didn't ring 999 until I'd asked my GP first. When I got to the hospital I was told that it was NSR and sent home with a HR of 130. I had to call another ambulance later the same day after my HR rose to 180, but I was still ignored by a doctor who thought it was just a panic attack. It was the end of the following day before a doctor recognised what was wrong, by which time it was nearly too late to have the cardioversion.

  • I think that it also depends if you have paroxysmal AF or persistent / permanent AF. If the latter two then then if you have high HB or low / high BP then it is often mor important to get there. However note that one persons normal HB or BP may be higher or lower than others so it is important that you tell them that. For example someone whose HB is say 60ish and it rises to 100 (a 67% increase) is worse than someone's which is normally around 100 and it rises to 110. Another thing is to have all your letters, ECGs, blood test results, INR, etc all filed away in a single ring file that you can grab quickly and take with you. When I had to do so the paramedics were so pleased and compliment me and also the A&E doctors and consultant. I know they went through it thoroughly because they picked up information from my file that occurred 8 months previously and put it in my discharge notes. Also don't forget that the vast majority of people who are admitted to A&E will attend another hospital and that hospital won't have access to your EP's or cardiologist's files and records.

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