AF Association
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Monitoring for A-Fib

Brief history - I am 42, healthy, with a structural heart abnormality.  I went into a-fib twice in 2015, the most recent was in October.  I was cardioverted both times. I have been on tambocor (flecainide) since October.  I started at 200mg/day, went down to 100mg about 6 weeks ago.  I saw my cardiologist yesterday and he has suggested slowly weening myself off the tambacor.  I will start by only taking tambocor on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

So there is a risk that the a-fib can come back by the time i take the tambocor as the tambocor will have enough time to get out my system in between doses.

He has obviously told me to monitor for a-fib.  I plan to do this by checking my heart rate using an HRM (a Polar H7 to be precise) regularly.

Any wise words against or for this approach? .... I mean using the HRM, not the weening off.

3 Replies

Few monitors are accurate when you are in A F . Far better to take your pulse and note any irregularities. Of course you may well have AF events when asleep so that won't help.

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I have Polar M52 and FT4 monitors with T61, T31 and Wearlink belts, and they all give the same readings as the 3 & 12 lead ECGs used by the NHS. They sense the R wave and not the P wave though, so I wouldn't expect them to detect anything if your AF doesn't affect the ventricular rate. Methods that detect the pulse rather than electrical activity (palpation & pulse oximetry) aren't accurate for me because consecutive pulses are not all the same amplitude, so they usually read a third of the true rate (eg: 70 instead of 210).

Some of the home ECG monitors have a Holter mode which would enable you to record whilst you're asleep, but I haven't tried any of them. The Alivecor is popular among people on here, but I don't think that one has a Holter mode.

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Reply weening off lasted a whole three days   before I went back into a-fib.  I skipped Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and was back in a-fib on Sunday morning. 

I was cardioverted again this morning (3rd time in a year).  I will stick to 100mg tambocor / day from now on!


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