AF Association
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Living with Afib

I have been doing some research. I have found that as far as I can tell, that is without asking my GP, which I will do at next appointment later this week,

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation can be defined in various ways, depending on the degree to which it affects you. For example:

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation – episodes come and go, and usually stop within 48 hours without any treatment

Persistent atrial fibrillation – each episode lasts for longer than seven days (or less when it's treated)

Long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation – this means you have had continuous atrial fibrillation for a year or longer

Permanent atrial fibrillation – atrial fibrillation is present all the time

Which do I have???

I don't know and can only guess.

I then came across NICE 2014. All rights reserved. Last updated August 2014 Atrial fibrillation:

management (CG180)

It states as follows:

Personalised package of care and information

Offer people with atrial fibrillation a personalised package of care.

Ensure that the package of care is documented and delivered, and that it covers:

Stroke awareness and measures to prevent stroke

Rate control

Assessment of symptoms for rhythm control

Who to contact for advice if needed

Psychological support if needed

Up-to-date and comprehensive education and information on:

Cause, effects and possible complications of atrial fibrillation management of rate and rhythm control


Practical advice on anticoagulation in line with recommendation

Referral for specialised management

Refer people promptly [1] at any stage if treatment fails to control the symptoms of atrial fibrillation and more specialised management is needed. [NICE new 2014]

So not only do I not know what type of afib I have, I can only assume, I have never ever been refered for any of the above.

Just wondered if anyone had any comment or suggestion or even thoughts on this



1 Reply

Norm if it comes and goes on its own it is paroxysmal. Generally speaking persistent AF will need intervention either by drugs or DCCV (Direct current cardioversion) to return to NSR. If cardioversion fails to work then it is permanent. Some definitions have been changed in recent years to reflect reality.

That said I would not waste time worrying about which you have unless it is permanent in which case options for treatment are limited. All your info is available from AF Association website. Sadly not all doctors follow the NICE pathway/protocol. The specialist management you mention is that if a GP is unable to manage the condition within one month then you should be referred to a specialist but that can be an arrhythmia nurse consultant.


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