3rd attack

I was diagnosed with AF almost exactly a year ago. I'd gone for my regular diabetes check (type 2 diet controlled) and the nurse put me on an ECG and then I was sent off to the local A and E in an ambulance. I'm 55 about 1 1/2 stone over weight but walk a lot and am pretty fit. I felt a bit hot and my heart rate was over 170BPM. They gave me Apixaban and Bisoprolol and I have to say the care was excellent (Horton Banbury).

I had another attack about a month later and again went to A and E but every thing was fine within an hour.

Yesterday I was in my workshop and thought it was getting warm but it was me I was hot and sweating, I checked my heart rate on my watch and mobile and it either wouldn't measure it or came up as over 160BPM. I went and had a lie down and slept really well last night. Today it seems a little slower but I'm still hot and sweating. I got a lift to work (I run a shop). I feel OK apart from a dull ache in my left side which I suspect is my heart or my imagination.

Should I go to the hospital? I thought if things don't improve I should go after work. Thoughts anyone? Oh and I'm new here :-)

19 Replies

  • Paul welcome to, our world. Firstly I am glad you are on apixaban which is an anticoagulant to reduce your risk of stroke which with your other health issues is much higher than normal.

    Generally AF is a chronic condition rather than an emergency one and should be treated as such by your cardiologist or maybe in first instance your GP. BUT!!!!! If you have any chest pain, feel faint, or dizzy then A and E is not a bad idea although in your case I would not go as far as 999 knowing how stretched they are.

    AF Association main website has a wealth of information and booklets which will help you to understand your new life but in general AF tends to be progressive . There is an old saying AF begets AF so the more you have it the more you will get it. It is an electrical problem in your heart and as such needs a special kind of doctor. GPs are great but by necessity odd job men and as I always say, you wouldn't get an odd job man to re-wire your house. Since you have a long life ahead of you with luck, you need to take some action now so see you GP if not A and E and demand to see that specialist as soon as possible. General cardiologists again tend to be plumbers rather than electricians so whilst you may need to see one to start with the gold standard is an electrophysiologiist (EP) .

    Above all be guided by your body. Don't be a hero!


  • I don't know where you live but here in Devon yesterday was warm and humid which often effects me.

    If your HR wasn't registering on your device, then it is often a sign of AF.

    Perhaps go see your GP anyway for advice and show him/her the evidence of your elevated HR as the Biso is obviously not affective.

    Unless you are either feeling ill, have unexplained pain, are in AF or tachycardia, in which case it can be very useful to get an ECG to take to your specialist for analysis, I personally think it a waste of time to go to A&E - they may monitor you though if you feel that would help.

    You can get a gadget called Kardia (old name AliveCor) which fits onto a smart phone and you can take your own ECG - this is MOST useful for taking to GP & cardiologists for analysis and you can also monitor yourself.

    The do I, don't I go to A&E is a perennial one and everyone is different. After experience of only being monitored, spending hours waiting and no treatment ever - I used to just sit the episodes out. However, my GP gave me very precise criteria when I had to get myself to A&E ASAP or call paramedics.

    Speak to your GP for advise on your particular circumstances and get to see an EP ASAP as Bob suggests.

    Best wishes CD

  • Think Bob's advice is good- you are 55 and so need to look at options, with a specialist, about the best way forward.

    Regarding A and E, some cardiologists like you to go if your heart rate is too high- they seem to have different definitions here varying from 120 per minute upwards- I have tended to go when 160 ish if it is continuing- depends too on other symptoms as listed by Bob

  • I was told it's not so much the actual rate but the multiple. So if your normal rate is 60 and current is 120 you are at double and the consideration of going is getting close. If normal is 100 then at 120 it's only 20% over and consideration is not there yet.

    However as others have alluded to it's a plethora of other things that tip the balance such as chest pains, headache, numbness, sweating, BP, etc, etc.

  • Thanks for the replies. I rang my GP but only got receptionist who relayed the conversation back and forth ( I didn't know were weren't talking ;-) ). She said I should go to A and E if I'm short of breath (I'm not) or have chest pain. I only have a faint ache and I'm not sure if that is in my mind as its seems to be to far to the left.

    Last time they just hooked me up to a ECG. I think I need to pressure my GP to get me to a specialist. So my task is to make an appointment and be direct.

    Does anyone know of an ECG type device that works with a Windows phone?

  • Alivecor aka Kardia as mentioned above.

  • Looking at the compatibility chart it's Apple and Android only

  • Are you still in AF now? might be worth a trip to A+E to get an ECG if you are.

    Maybe calling 111 may help you come to a decision

  • I'm in a and E now. My watch tells me I'm about 95 bpm.

  • An opportunity to establish what your heart gets up to, Paul. I hope all goes well for you.

    Do ask them to print two copies of any ECG that gets taken and keep one for yourself. Hospital ones can fail to catch up with your notes.

  • 6 hours in A and E. I was seen for about 1 of them because they were so busy. By midnight my heart was back to normal. I got my EC print out. I've made made an appointment with my GP and WILL get them to do something.

  • That sounds like the way forward. Don't part with your ECG. Get copies to give to any doctor and keep the original. A Kardia is a useful thing to have, and you can watch what your heart gets up to. A&E is the place if you feel very wrong. You will probably soon learn, I'm sorry to say, what's normal AF for you as it is something that progresses and it is unlikely to stop happening. The more episodes you have the less bothersome they become if they just revert to normal rhythm after a while. But don't be complacent.

    Persuade your GP to refer you direct to an EP if you can. Some think you should go to an ordinary cardiologist first.

  • Paul

    I think Rellim means that "Some GPs think that ........". However that used to be the case years ago but you can go straight to an EP now.

  • That's right Peter. I certainly wasted time being referred to a cardiologist first and would have done better going straight to the EP. I'm glad it's changed now.

  • Hope you didn't make me me chipping in but I was 100% sure about what you meant but thought Paul might misinterpret it.

  • Didn't mind at all, Peter

  • Off to the doctors in the morning, I made the appointment, three days later they call me to tell me to make an appointment 😲

    I've git my ECG print out, what is an EP, a type of doctor?

  • An EP is an electrophysiologist who is someone specialising in arrhythmia and electrics of the heart. Nearly all are cardiologists who have specialised. This is a branch of cardiology that has only really developed in its own right in the last 5 to 10 years. First catheter ablations were only started in the second half of the 90s but only really come to the forte in the last 10 years.

  • Thanks

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