PMC recognizes September as National AFIB Month

By: 
Carol Casebolt

The month of Sept. has been identified as National Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Month. Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) joins the efforts of health care professionals throughout the country to bring awareness to this life-threatening disease.

 

PMC Electrophysiologist Michael Antimisiaris, M.D. said, "About half of our practice is dedicated to treating patients with AFib."

 

AFib is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. At least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib.

 

Normally, your heart contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. In AFib, the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat irregularly (quiver) instead of beating effectively to move blood into the ventricles. 

 

PMC Electrophysiologist Chase Reynolds, M.D. said, "Stroke is the biggest issue we are trying to avoid for patients with AFib."

 

If a clot breaks off, enters the bloodstream and lodges in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke results. About 15–20 percent of people who have strokes have this heart arrhythmia.

 

Even though untreated AFib doubles the risk of heart-related deaths and is associated with a five-fold increased risk for stroke, many patients are unaware that AFib is a serious condition.

 

Dr. Antimisiaris said, "If we can detect AFib early there are measures we can take to prevent stroke."

 

Some of the symptoms of AFib include irregular and rapid heartbeat; heart palpitations or rapid thumping inside the chest, dizziness, sweating and chest pain or pressure; shortness of breath or anxiety; tiring more easily when exercising and fainting.

 

AFib can lead to other problems. You can live with AFib, but it can lead to other medical problems including: stroke, heart failure, chronic fatigue, additional heart rhythm problems or inconsistent blood supply.

 

For additional information about AFib or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reynolds or Dr. Antimisiaris call PMC Heart and Vascular Institute at 606-218-2201 or visit www.pikevillehospital.org.

 

 

 

Source: American Heart Association