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Atrial Fibrillation Screening

Atrial Fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat). It occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat irregularly or quiver. Without an effective heartbeat blood isn't pumped completely out of the atria, causing blood to pool and possibly clot. A clot can travel to other parts of the body, including the brain, where it may result in stroke.

Screening for Atrial Fibrillation

  • A non-invasive procedure used to detect irregular heartbeat (a major risk factor for stroke), an Atrial Fibrillation screening is performed by attaching EKG electrodes above your wrists and ankles. 

Who should have an atrial fibrillation screening?

  • Anyone with risk factors for stroke, atrial fibrillation or carotid artery disease

How often should I get an atrial fibrillation screening?

  • Annually

*Recommended guidelines only. Consult with your physician.

How do I prepare for an atrial fibrillation screening?

  • Wear a shirt that is open at the collar and short-sleeved
  • Do not wear a turtleneck

Warning signs

Even though not everybody with atrial fibrillation experiences symptoms, these warning signs may indicate heart issues:

  • Heart palpitations (sudden pounding, fluttering, or a racing feeling in the chest)
  • Lack of energy
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath, even at rest

Risk factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol or caffeine consumption
  • Extreme stress or fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes

For more information download our Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet

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