Atrial Fibrillation – What to do in an Emergency

cardiovascular issues
Heart Attack - Photo by: German Tenorio - Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Atrial fibrillation, which is also known as AF or AFib, is a serious and chronic heart disease which around 3 million Americans live with today. Many people describe the procedures of such dire symptomatology as feeling like their hearts have entered a haywire and irregular state of beating, especially following moderate exertion. The most dangerous symptomatology, however, is when there is none at all.


What is Atrial Fibrillation?

The healthy heart will beat at a normal pace, contracting and relaxing at a regular rhythm. With atrial fibrillation, the upper atria or chambers will lose this standard pace and have it replaced with an irregular one best described as a quiver. As one can imagine, this causes a complete upset and sluggishness in the functionality and effectiveness of blood circulation.


As a result, blood clots can easily begin forming. If a clot happens to break off in the blood stream and make its way up to the brain through an artery, a stroke will occur. Around twenty percent of people that have suffered a stroke suffered from this condition. Although this condition leads to a massive increase in stroke vulnerability, not to mention the heart-related incidence, too many people are unaware or simply do not care about the dangers of AFib


A Seemingly Uncared for Condition

It may seem ridiculous, but almost seventy percent of Americans with this life-threatening disease do not consider it a serious issue, and many do not believe that this condition will more than likely increase their chances dramatically of sustaining a heart attack or stroke. While heart disease claims the most people out of any disease, not just the United States of America, but the whole world, Americans just aren’t educated or do not care enough about the severity and frequency of conditions like atrial fibrillation.


What to do in an Emergency

Those that have ever experienced the monstrous heart palpitations of an atrial fibrillation attack will tell you that it is one of the most terrifying situations to endure. While it may seem impossible to try and rationally work through such a crisis, it is important to stay as calm as possible.


Take a Cold Shower

Many people have quickly brought their heart rate back to a standard beat thanks to a sudden hit of cold water. This can be easily achieved by taking a cold shower, or by dipping your head into a sink or bowl filled with cold water.


Stay Hydrated

One of the causes for irregular palpitations is often a result of dehydration. Remember that you should only ever drink water or a hydration pack to stay hydrated. The massive sugar quantities in soft drinks or the common fruit juice will only worsen your cause. Substances containing caffeine or alcohol can make your palpitations far worse.


Exercise or Relax

By elevating your heart rate with a bit of exercise, you can easily return your heart rate to a normal beat once your body returns to resting mode. Relaxation methods are another effective technique. Meditation, breathing techniques, or just lying down can greatly aid in bringing your heart back to normal.


Seek professional help

All these advices may help you buy some time while you call an ambulance or wait for your doctor’s advice. As always, remember to seek proper professional aid in any emergency situation by promptly calling your physician or 911. If you have any symptoms that require immediate medical attention, don’t waste any time and request adequare assistance immediately.