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What are the signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

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Uploaded on Jun 22, 2011

Atrial fibrillation tends to cause an irregular rapid pulse. In many patients, what they feel is palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and dizziness.

The other issue is that atrial fibrillation can lead to stroke. When patients are in atrial fibrillation, not only do they often have palpitations, feel short of breath, feel a rapid and irregular pulse, but it's remember: during atrial fibrillation the upper chamber is really not pumping blood, its quivering. So, when the upper chamber quivers, blood can pool and blood can clot and so patients who have atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of stroke and many of those patients will have a stroke.

The problem is if somebody doesn't have symptoms and they have a-fib, that's actually worse because they can be in a-fib for long periods of time and not know it and can lead to an increased risk of stroke.

Older patients tend to have slower pulses and so when atrial fibrillation occurs, the pulse will often times be relatively slow and they don't know they are in it. And that's a problem because these patients are at a high risk of stroke and don't know until they have an EKG.

To learn more about the cardiac care services available at HCA East Florida hospitals, please visit: http://hcaeastflorida.com/our-service...

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