16 Nov 2009

Know Your Pulse - It Could Save Your Life

One of my clients is The Arrhythmia Alliance, the UK's leading heart rhythm charity. It has today welcomed a new campaign by the British Heart Foundation highlighting the problem of Atrial Fibrillation. The BHF campaign is great news as Atrial Fibrillation is a condition often thought to be non-life threatening but the fact is one in three people with AF will suffer a stroke - which as we all know can indeed be deadly.
Arrhythmia Alliance has itself been running a very successful 'Know Your Pulse' campaign for some time.
Here is the press release I have written for them on the subject. It's well worth reading because you may be suffering from AF without realising it - you can tell by simply taking your pulse. Further down is a link to Sir Roger Moore showing you just how to do that:

The UK's most common heart rhythm disorder, Atrial Fibrillation (AF), is too often ignored or underestimated in its potential to cause misery and death.
The Arrhythmia Alliance and The Atrial Fibrillation Association, leading charities on heart rhythm disorders, are welcoming The British Heart Foundation (BHF) joining the initiative to highlight the problems of Atrial Fibrillation, a condition often thought to be troublesome but non-life threatening.
Atrial Fibrillation is a major cause of stroke. In fact, 1 in 3 people with AF will suffer a stroke, so it is vital for people suffering from an irregular heart rhythm to be accurately diagnosed and treated.
We all have a 1 in 4 life time risk of developing AF. The condition can cause few physical symptoms or it can be seriously debilitating. Even if there are no symptoms the risk of stroke remains It is thought to affect almost 1 million people in the UK and is costing the NHS one percent of its total annual budget.
AF can be detected by a simple pulse check. Arrhythmia Alliance is currently continuing its successful 2009 "Know Your Pulse" campaign with the long term goal of ensuring that pulse checks become routine. The two-week campaign by BHF, starting today, will further endorse their long term goal to raise awareness of the condition and help save more lives.
To see Sir Roger Moore demonstrate how to take a pulse, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0dAlo0MEEA. For more information, visit www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk and www.knowyourpulse.org

Atrial Fibrillation Fast Facts:

• AF affects almost 1 million people in the UK and costs 1% of the annual NHS budget
• An episode of AF can last from a few minutes to many weeks and being a progressive disorder, up to 25% of initially self-terminating AF will become permanent in 5 years, and 50% by 10 years.
• There are 16,000 strokes annually in patients with AF in England which result in: 4,300 deaths in hospital, 3,200 discharges to residential care, 8,500 deaths within the first year.
• The annual cost of stroke to the UK economy is £8.9 billion - that is £44,000 per stroke victim (Saka et al, 2009). So detecting AF and reducing the risk if stroke by effective management is Very cost efficient.
• The easiest way to detect AF is, to feel the pulse.
Contact Information
Arrhythmia Alliance: Jo Jerrome
01789 450787 joanna@heartrhythmcharity.org.uk www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk