Afib for 4 days. : Evening all. Can anyone... - AF Association

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Afib for 4 days.

ETHEL103 profile image

Evening all. Can anyone tell me please how long you have a fib before being converted at the hospital. I've been 4 days now with intermittent high heart rate that doesn't last long but makes me really hot and tired. Any imput gratefully received.

40 Replies

Not really best placed to answer directly because I was diagnosed with persistent AF so episodes were not an issue until after I had a cardioversion. I was then prescribed Flecainide as a PiP but when the episodes became more frequent, this was changed to a low daily maintenance dose which kept me in rhythm until I had my 1st ablation. This regime worked well for me so never had to go to A&E. This may not be a suitable solution for everyone Ethel, but it might be worth discussing with your Doctor........

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to FlapJack

Thankyou.

If you mean that you are going in and out of AF, it is not continuous , then dc cardioversion would not be an option. You would have to be in a sustained arrhythmia for this procedure.What sort of rate are you in ?

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Jalia

Hi been continuous for 4 days so far.

Jalia profile image
Jalia in reply to ETHEL103

You mentioned intermittent high heart rate which is why I queried whether it was continuous. What is your rate ? Personally I have never left it for 4 days but my AF is fast to very fast and I feel very compromised. I have almost always been admitted and cardioverted.

I would speak to your GP fir advice in the morning or if symptoms get worse beforehand phone 111 fir advice

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Jalia

High rate up to 140.Afib rate fluctuated from 55 to 80 ish and anywhere in between. High rate happens when moving from a sitting position or even turning over in bed. The high rate is regular but the pulse is very irregular when slower if that is clearer.

Jalia profile image
Jalia in reply to ETHEL103

I would speak to your GP in the morning and see if he can arrange an ECG to see what is going on.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Jalia

Hi. Last Friday did that. Showed a fib this time. Previous one showed flutter so seem to have both. I also took my Kardia readouts down to the docs office. First time in there in 2 years. Did lots of checks and verapimil dose changed. Just a waiting game till I see my EP next week. Had to go private.

Jalia profile image
Jalia in reply to ETHEL103

Good luck for next week then . Do let us know how you get on with your EP.

Hi Ethel.

This is not an easy one to answer - as Jalia ask's is your afib 'coming and going' ?

You wrote

"I've been 4 days now with intermittent high heart rate that doesn't last long".

This implies you are not in afib all the time. As a rule of thumb there are different types of afib.

1. PAF (paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) - this comes and goes.

2. Persistent - afib which last's a week or more.

3. Permanent - rate control is often used to control this.

You could aso be in flutter which would account for your higher HR. This doesn't help much but have a chat to your medic. I don't know what med's you are on but maybe they can give you the right mix to help. I think you need to jump on it now and hopefully it will be sorted out.

Paul

Edit - "I've been 4 days now with intermittent high heart rate that doesn't last long". This implies you are not in afib all the time.

Just to be clear - this doesn't mean you are not in afib. Your HR can be high with the condition (fairly normal) - for some it can be lower even with afib. Only your doctor can confirm this,

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Paulbounce

Cheers Paul.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Reading all the answers and your responses I do wonder what is actually happening Ethel. Generally AF needs to be treated by a specialist and is NOT a matter for A and E unless you have chest pain or are fainting. From your description I think it unlikely that you are in AF all the time and quite possibly have a second arrhythmia intruding.

In such circumstances If your GP can't do an imediate ECG to see what is what then maybe a call to 111 is in order and let them send a paramedic to check you out.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to BobD

Cheers Bob.

agree with Bob- if the high rate is regular and you've had flutter previously it sounds like a mixture Hope it calms down soon

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to rosyG

Thankyou.

Yes. I had Afib for over 30 years. My 101 year old mother is in her 15th year.

Also agree with Bob. Last spell I had lasted for 12 days then just stopped. Rate was irregular continually and I was checked out at the hospital who told me as long as I had no chest pain or dizziness then it shouldn't be dangerous. Upped my bisoprilol to 3.25 per day and started on rivaroxaban. Hope this helps

Weeks. 4-5.

I agree with Bob that 111 can advise if Paramedics are required and I found they are usually much more helpful than A&E. In the past they have done an ECG and sent it straight through to cardiology for an opinion but I have always had my GP advise as to whether or not I need to call them. I’ve sat for hours in A&E in fast AF and not even been monitored. Without an ECG you won’t get a diagnosis. Your GP should be able to give you an ECG or provide a mobile monitor to track you

It’s so difficult to get directly to the doctors who can best advise, at the moment especially.

Keep monitoring yourself, especially if you have a Kardia and keeping a record because all the specific information you can give to the specialist will help determine best treatment.

I’ve never been offered a cardioversion at A&E or anywhere else and you would probably need to see a cardiologist first anyway. My episodes tended to self convert within 3-4 days.

Take care and keep well hydrated and rest and keep cool.

dunestar profile image
dunestar in reply to CDreamer

Wow CDreamer, having the paramedics send the ECG through to cardiology is a brilliant idea.

Last October I got taken to A&E, the paramedics uploaded their data to the system and there it sat for the next 6 months until an on the ball nurse took the trouble to go and find it. I was then diagnosed with Afib. It could have happened 6 months earlier if the system had worked better, also saving the NHS loads of money trying to pin down what was wrong with various Holter monitors and consultant visits.

Hi like you although this was 19 years ago ,I had the same issues , 4 days in hospital tried meds to reduce heart rate of 175 none worked , so had to shock me back into rhythm ,,,, later found out I had PAF ,and atrial flutter , I got ablation in 2005 for both , but only cleared up flutter ,,,I’m left with PAF ,,, controlled by drugs most of the time although still like most of us have bad days ,,, it takes a lot of time and changing of meds to get what’s right for you ,,,, sometimes ,,,, but like the rest say if you think your in any way in danger phone hospital get checked ,,,it took them a long time to find my issues ,lots of tests ,,,

Thankyou everyone for your replies. Much appreciated.

Hi Ethel, I had exactly the same last year, high rate going to 150+ according to Kardia, after 5 days phoned GP wanting ECG, receptionist referred me straight to 111 because I get angina pain with high rate. 111 sent me to A&E who did ECG and bloods, gave me tiny extra dose of diltiazem to see if it slowed rate (of course it did as I was lying down!) and sent me home quickly. The cardiologist I had a phone consultation with later said only option for me if very poorly was cardioversion (long story) but it is something I would avoid if possible.

Good luck with EP appointment, I hope it is helpful. My rhythm (lack of!) was knocked back into NSR by a very hot curry but I wouldn’t advise that as a treatment!

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Buffafly

Ha ha love a Ruby. Even on a hot day.

Four months I’ve been in af. On the list for cardioversion but it’s a long list. Not got a specialist cardiologist, just Arrthymia nurse so feeling rather neglected.

Hope you get sorted soon Ethel103.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Redders

Blimey you sound just like me. I've gone private. Costing me my pension but as they say there are no pockets in shrouds. Take care.

See a doctor. Last time my afib kicked in it lasted for three days. Heart not racing but very irregular. Made me tired and a bit breathless. Felt terrible. When I saw doc after it stopped, a few days later, he told me I should have gone to A and E.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to jd2004

Oh I thought a & E was emergencies only.

jd2004 profile image
jd2004 in reply to ETHEL103

Briefly he said that a fast heartbeat can contribute to eventual heart failure ( in many years to come) and 72 hours in my case was too long.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to jd2004

Fair enough. Hope your fine now.

etheral profile image
etheral in reply to ETHEL103

Persistent afib with a fast ventricular rate is an emergency. Even more so if Short of breath, chest discomfort other symptoms. Personally have cardiverted patients in heart failure with afib in Emergency Department

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to etheral

How do you know if its a ventricular rate please?

etheral profile image
etheral in reply to ETHEL103

Take your pulse. That is your ventricular rate.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to etheral

My fitbit on my wrist shows a different rate than my finger monitor. Is that unusual?

etheral profile image
etheral in reply to ETHEL103

I am not familiar with the comparative accuracy of either device. But you can feel your radial artery pulse located on you wrist behind your thumb with your fingers on the opposite hand. Take it for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 and you will have your approximate rate as well as be able to tell if it's regular or irregular.

When I first had AF events with fast heart beat I’d go to hospital after about 15 hours. They would just monitor me and watch my heart rate slow down and I could go home even if I was not in sinus rhythm.Gradually over time and with pill in the pocket My events were more often and I could be out of sinus for just over 3 weeks before it reverted to normal.

My cardiologist is monitoring and tweaks my medication.

They always advise to get to hospital if you feel you need help and are concerned. In UK ringing 999 for an ambulance is a good idea… the paramedics can do an ECG, check oxygen levels and blood pressure and reassure you. They are not concerned by a heart rate of 100. Keep calm and the rate will drop to your normal. Drink water and deep breathe. As long as you are on anti coagulants there is no emergency.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Mawes

Great advice thankyou.

jd2004 profile image
jd2004 in reply to Mawes

Doc also told me a formula for calculating what a maximum heartbeat for your age should be. Subtract your age from 220. Maybe this is well known but it was news to me.

Buffafly profile image
Buffafly in reply to jd2004

That makes mine 144 which is the point where things start to go a bit fuzzy 😵‍💫

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Buffafly

Hi my highest is 140 so far and its regular. Not sure if it's flutter or a fib. My daily pulse is very uneven but the fast HR is always even.

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