In AF for several weeks: what to do?

Hi all,

My brother has been in AF for the past 4 weeks (I also have AF but I’m asking about him this time). He’s had bouts before, but never this long. His AF is quite slow, peaking around 90bpm. He is aged in early 50s.

What is the recommendation for what to do in this situation?

Does this happen to lots of people and you just live with it?

He has a cardiologist appointment, but not for another 2 months. Does he need to push to make this earlier?

What about going seeing an electrocardiologist instead? Do you have to see cardiologist first?

Many thanks

15 Replies

  • I have been referred directly to an Electrophysiologist by my GP, but that was for a private consultation. Cost me about £250, something like that, and I was seen fairly quickly (couple of weeks or so).

    To be in AF and wait 2 months to see (possibly) the wrong person is not something I'd want to do! Maybe they can bring it forward if you tell them the situation and you don't feel he can wait?

  • The longer he remains in AF the more difficult it will be to reverse. Hopefully he has already been considered for anticoagulation.

    Spending money to see and EP sounds worthwhile

  • agree with Goldie- he needs to be seen and treated swiftly so that changes don't occur. Try making a big fuss to get an urgent referral to an EP and if it doesn't work consider the private route.

  • I agree with Goldie.

    You should be referred to an EP.

    Because I was so symptomatic I never left it more than a couple of days and the hospital had no hesitation in cardiverting me.

    Unless you are diagnosed with permanent AF - non reversible I suggest your brother gets help.


  • Don't forget to see an experienced Naturopath as well.

  • He needs to be treated to reduce the risk of reaching permanent AF prior to an Ablation. At 50 he does not want to rely on drugs and although you say he has been in AF for 4 weeks, what is the frequency of the episodes.

  • Go to a and e with him I would if I was him

  • Is he in persistent afib? If so, I go to ER and they cardiovert me.

  • He is. Many thanks. Hope you’re ok

  • I am doing well currently, I have had 11 cardioversions in 3 1/2 years, because when I go into afib it is persistent, the Dr does not leave me in afib. I am going for a ablation Jan 4th. Guess we will see, really dread it actually, because otherwise healthy and work normally until I kick into that awful afib rate of 140-170 rate.

  • Good luck with the ablation. From what people have said it’s not so bad, but that doesn’t help does it!

  • 11 cardioversions! Goodness that must be approaching a record.

    Is it in the USA (where earning from proceedures may affect the decision)? My cynical view

  • Yes, I know the drill. The first 2 in the beginning of my diagnosis were unsuccessful due to the drugs they had me on, the third one was successful, each of the first 3 were 1 month apart and by a cardiologist, not EP doctor. After the 3Rd one, was in NSR for 20 months. I have kind of been an oddball I suppose. I have not wanted a ablation, but guess I am to the point now.

  • but he would need at least 3 weeks of anticoagulation before doing this

  • Yes, if I go in and my INR is not in range (2-3) they get it in range, do a TEE (checks for any clots in the heart) then the cardioversion. It never take but one shock, then I am in NSR. I have had 3 TEE prior to cardioversions.

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