A-Fib Clinic

Atrial Fibrillation

What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)?

Atrial Fibrillation (Subtitles)

Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. AFib occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, beat rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner. AFib can negatively affect quality of life and lead to other serious health conditions.

What happens to the heart during AFib?

The heart has an electrical system that coordinates the work of the heart chambers (heart rhythm) and controls the frequency of beats (heart rate). AFib is a condition that interrupts the normal flow of the electrical system, which is typically reflected on an EKG.

AFib increases a patient’s risk of heart failure and stroke five-fold and becomes harder to treat as symptoms become more severe, so it’s important to diagnose and seek treatment early

Know the signs and symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

If you've noticed your heart fluttering or racing unexpectedly when you’re resting, that is a sign that you may have a condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Symptoms of AFib include heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, anxiety, chest pain/pressure, and dizziness. Additional symptoms may include fluttering or thumping in the chest, weakness, faintness, confusion, and sweating.

AFib may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years. Everyone’s experience with AFib is different.

If you suspect that you may have AFib, you are not alone. AFib is the most common heart arrhythmia. Over 33 million people worldwide suffer from Atrial Fibrillation.

What causes AFib?

The causes of AFib are wide-ranging and include both non-modifiable factors and lifestyle factors.

When to Seek Medical Attention for AFib

Treating AFib: When should I see a doctor or go to the hospital?

If you suspect that you may have AFib, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. AFib is a progressive disease that may get worse over time so early diagnosis and treatment is essential for overcoming this global epidemic.

If left untreated, AFib can lead to other conditions including heart failure, stroke and death. AFib becomes harder to treat as symptoms become more severe.

Listen to your body and find the right doctor. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Baptist Hospital A-Fib Clinic:
Kim Haynes, RN, A-Fib Nurse Navigator

When is it time to consult a Cardiac Electrophysiologist (EP)?

An EP is a cardiologist with extensive training in heart arrhythmias. They specialize in the testing, diagnosis, management, and treatment of heart arrhythmias, including Atrial Fibrillation. Electrophysiologists know how the heart works, what kind of arrhythmias there are, and what may cause them, and they are the recommended cardiologists to perform a cardiac catheter ablation procedure to fix heart rhythm problems..

Your primary care doctor or cardiologist may refer you to a cardiac electrophysiologist. It is important to seek treatment with a cardiac electrophysiologist as soon as possible. If left untreated, AFib can lead to other conditions including heart failure, stroke and death.

What is Catheter Ablation