Should I see GP?

I was diagnosed with PAF 2 years ago and have been lucky to only have experienced rapid uneven beats 4 times a year. I take 2.5 bisoprolol daily and pill in pocket when necessary. I started will rapid missing beats on Friday morning and have been in and out of AF since then. Last night beats per minute ranged from 80 to 39. The 39 alarmed me! Is this part and parcel of AF? Hope someone could advise me.


13 Replies

  • Lorraine like you I would be more concerned about the 39 than the 80 but it does depend on how you are taking your pulse. If by normal manual wrist method then fine but any kind of machine will fail miserably from experience.

    AF normally produces a very high and erratic pulse .often in the high 100 -200 range so it is a little unusual to be in AF at such low numbers. Not impossible mind.

    Could it be that what you are experiencing are ectopic beats (often called missed beats) rather than out and out AF? I think it best if this persists to ring your GP and arrange to attend for an ECG to capture what is going on so that you can show the team who are treating you. If all else fails and although I hate saying this, A and E may provide the chance of an ECG if you can bear the whole sorry experience.

    Do remember that you are entitled to ask for copies of all ECGs and other test results so always do so and keep those print outs to show to your EP or cardiologist.


  • Thanks Bob - I agree but not high just very erratic. I use App on my mobile. I will call GP and arrange ECG if it continues. Seems to have settled now!

  • Lorraine, if you are in AF then you would normally expect your heart rate to fluctuate from one extreme to the other.

    I can only say that when I was last in AE with fast AF, 2+ weeks ago , the monitor fluctuated from about 40 to 170 and every variation in between. All to be expected.

    If you are concerned then give your GP practice a phone call tomorrow.


  • Octopus's probably does. However some of the apps around 18 months ago only gave an average over the recording time and not an ongoing average.

  • Thanks Sandra. I will call to see GP tomorrow. Previously when in AF the highest reading was 150 and then lower variations but never as low as 39! Bob suggests could be ectopics. Oh the joy!!

  • May not be. See my latest readings below.

    Also it may be you app that you mention below. The one I used over 18 months ago was from either the British heart foundation or the arrythmia alliance and relied on light from phone. However that was not accurate if in AF and I cross calibrated against the AliveCor when I bought the AliveCor. From memory nearly always the phone app was quite a bit less than AliveCor.

    However please go the GP's tomorrow. You may be able to book an ECG over the phone. However if your surgery is like mine nurse appointments can be a couple of weeks whereas GP's should be same day in which cast take GP who will probably be able to slip in immediate or same day ECG!!

    Let us know how you get on.

  • Agree with most of the things with Bob however if you have an AliveCor Kardia then that is accurate. Also a cuff monitor suitable for AF will be pretty good but because of fluctuations will sometimes give a different reading. Certainly at numbers under 50 or so fingers could be OKish but sometimes the differentiation as to what is a beat and what is not can be difficult for the person taking the pulse. Also if in AF you need to take for a whole minute. Taking for 15 seconds and multiplying by 4 can be quite in accurate. On my AliveCor I have set recordings to be 2 minutes to improve accuracy and compatibility and as I am recording I note the maximum and minimum rate that the AliveCor shows (it continually averages over a defined time period). That has provided very interesting results and say whilst the average could be 80 the range is 55 to 110.

  • Thanks for the reply Peter. I am seriously thinking about buying an accurate monitor I realise that the App on phone will not give an accurate reading.

  • Just done a recording now. Average HB was 100 and the range was 45 to 114. Over 15 mins before that reading I had been putting out the recycling and using a hand brush and dustpan brushed up some beech seeds so not very strenuous.

    BTW I am in persistent AF.

  • I will check with GP tomorrow. Have just seen consultant last week. He did say that he would be happy to do an ablation if my AF became a problem. I have never been in AF for more than a day. These last 3 days have been unusual. I have read that AF can progress . How long have you been in persistent AF? How do you cope?

  • Formally diagnosed with persistent AF in Sep 14. Largely asymptomatic at that time and prior to that though with what I know now probably l had AF for a few years. Significantly worse in the last 6 to 9 months and found the winter hard with the cold and this summer very hard with the heat. Sleeping for a couple of hours every afternoon to recharge the body. Cannot do as much as I could a year ago.

  • Hi lorraine everybody is different but my bpm can be anything from 39-140 when having an incident, scary but I tend to do charts and keep them for reference, did share with doctor who confirmed that this is 'normal'


  • Thanks Denise that is reassuring. I must say it is good chatting to people with AF.

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