I have AF and sometimes BP units and pulse ... - AF Association

AF Association
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I have AF and sometimes BP units and pulse monitors do not work!


An example of this is that in November I had an angio and the cardio who did the deed referred me to Cardio Rehab physio team. The angio was good news and blood supply to heart good etc. So cardio at my yearly MOT in January said that the GP clinic could take over the lead again. Good.

So In early Dec back I trot to the rehab team and they do a session to see what exercise level I am. Basically sit for a bit answer questions, they check pulse , blood pressure etc. Then you stand and they attach a pulse monitor band to your chest, give you the monitor to attach to your wrist and off you go to do a walking test. (Basically measured distance and you move at beeps. The beeps get closer together to make it harder in stages). Test on day one and the pulse monitor refused to constantly read, Error messages etc. Tried another no good. So it would just have to be physical monitoring. Didn't think much about it. I get sent off to do homework for a couple of months and as a good boy I did it.

Came back to second visit last week. BP and pulse is fine. Nurse comments that I am in rhythm and pulse is 60. I stand up and they attach the stuff and she states this isn't right your pulse is 200, 211 and then error message. Not working again. So we do test same as last time and I have to stop as I have a tight chest after a bit. Sit down and BP machine wont take a reading. It works after my tightness goes away a bit. And I leave nurse with the understanding I report it to GP. Sorry for the long story but does anyone else have this effect on NHS equipment?

Sorry for the detail but I thought it would put it in context and no one would need to think it was a major issue for me. I know I tend to freak out new GP's to the practice but I don't need to worry any one else! By the way I had increased my exercise level and am free of rehab!

14 Replies

I really don’t think it’s the equipment- sounds more like PoTS - postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Every time you change your position your HR increases & BP can drop.

Did anyone give you an an ECG?

Did they test you on both arms? Or only one?

Have you ever had dizziness or feel faint when getting out of bed or standing from sitting?

May I suggest that you return to your GP & ask to be referred for a Tilt Table rest.

I’ve had PoTS all my life but it’s pretty well controlled now, as is my AF.

Checkout this site potsuk.org/

There is a link to the AA STARS site at the bottom with loads of info.

Best wishes

Smokie2D in reply to CDreamer

No to the ecg. I have been a problem patient the whole time and so far they just say microvascular coronary disease or similar. I was okay after so they let me go. Ihave little expectation of more tests being done. And only one arm.

To be honest the peeps had just dealt with a patient they had to shock and transfer to cardio ward.

As for dizziness, almost every time I get up to some degree. Has been like that for twenty years almost.

Its a minor bump really!

CDreamer in reply to Smokie2D

If it’s nearly every time you get up PoTS is the most likely candidate. Check out the website link above. The BP doesn’t always measure if you are AF but if you were in NSR seated with HR 60 which jumped to 200 standing ......

Smokie2D in reply to CDreamer

I am currently coming off Tramadol. (200mg x2 per day now to 50mg x 2). The improvement caused by Sleep Apnoea treatment (pre treatment 63.1 incidents per hour to less than 3), means I have to get used to new levels. I feel that some meds may now be too strong for the new me.

I have had stand tests in the past that showed not a lot of difference between lying and standing but will be talking to GP as soon as I finish getting rid of painkiller!

I will mention the bothering things, dizziness, headaches in afternoon and tight chest and see what happens!

Its all change, the medical lot seem only to do one thing at a time so we will see!


On the other hand few BP monitors can get accurate readings if you are in AF. Always use old fashioned pump and stethoscope .

Smokie2D in reply to BobD

I have had a major improvement since sleep apnoea treatment. Nurse thought I may be in rhythm as pulse took sitting down was fine. All I had to do is stand up, ah hope eternal!

Had to have an ecg a couple of weeks ago. Our Drs consists of an amalgamation of four surgeries three of which have ecg machines. Got as far as the third before they could get a machine to function and then only after a lot of trying. Everything looked fine but was sent off to cardiology at local hospital to have a 12 lead ecg to be sure! All fine!👍

Smokie2D in reply to Hylda

Yes if you get new docs you can't half confuse em!

Hylda in reply to Smokie2D

I was signed off by EP back to Drs, first time I mentioned heart he he referred me straight back 🤣

Smokie2D in reply to Hylda

I have been in a fight between A&E and cardio team. Phoned cardio support nurse who told me to go to A&E .. I went! They checked me sent me to an observation unit for an hour then sent home.

Was home from hosp half an hour...got a call from Cardio nurse asking why I wasn't in the ward, explained to her had been and was sent home again. Told to go back!

On arrival to A&E they weren't happy and I had to sit in A&E in the naughty chair outside an office while they sorted it out. My cardiologist at the time came down collected me and I was kept in for tests for a week.

All fun I suppose!

AF is the enemy of the electronic measuring systems

Only traditional method can be relied on.

Try one of the smart health watch monitor things - my permanent AF sends them silly

Smokie2D in reply to R1100S1

Ach the only thing I half fancy is that ecg app thing with the finger pads. Not sure its worth it but it looks good!

Smokie2D in reply to Smokie2D

Tell some of the med staff that and they have to go find the oldest GP who still has it on the desk! Old foggies are sometimes useful!

My problem is only made worse by the fact that my wrists are huge, so any watch like fittings seldom fit! If they work you have to hold them in your hand as you go.. Thought that NHS stuff would be used to AF but hey ho, no

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