Atrial Fibrillation And Heart Failure

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Introduction There are approximately 5.7 million people in the United States diagnosed with heart failure and about half of those diagnoses will die due to causes related to heart failure within five years (“Heart Failure”, 2016). Heart failure related deaths vary by geographic locations; however, they are most predominant among men and offer a greater risk to women if left untreated. Heart failure is a serious medical condition, if diagnosed and treated early enough, the chance of preventing death increase.
Heart failure is a syndrome where the heart lacks the ability to pump blood effectively throughout the body for a prolonged period. It often co-exists with other diseases or related illnesses that causes damage to the heart, such as atrial
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Atrial fibrillation can then be further broken down based on the frequency of the episodes into five types paroxysmal, persistent, long-standing persistent, permanent, and nonvalvular. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation stops spontaneously or via intervention within seven days of onset. Persistent atrial fibrillation is continuous irregular rhythm lasting more than seven days. Long-standing atrial fibrillation is continuous irregular rhythm lasting more than twelve months. Permanent atrial fibrillation cannot be controlled through intervention and cannot self regulate. Further attempts to restore normal sinus rhythm will be stopped and therapeutic treatment will be initiated. Nonvalvular atrial fibrillation means it is not caused by a heart valve problem. It occurs when there is no mitral stenosis or artificial heart valve present (Boyle,…show more content…
The ECG is a test that connects wires to the chest and arms displaying the electrical signals of the heart on a monitor. In atrial fibrillation, the monitor will display no discernable, independent P waves, but rather replaced by evident F waves. The QRS complex will vary with R-R intervals and result in a rapid, narrow complex (Goralnick, 2015). The ECG can also provide other information such as presence of bundle-branch block, left ventricle hypertrophy, and prior myocardial infraction (Floyd, 2016). The holter monitor is a portable ECG that is carried around and records 24 hours or more of heart activity to later be interrupted by the doctor. The event recorder is again the portable ECG that is intended to record weeks to months of heart activity and records only if an episode of atrial fibrillation occurs. The echocardiogram is a noninvasive test that shows a video image of the heart originated by sound waves. These images can show if there is any structural damage of the heart. Blood tests are completed to eliminate thyroid issues or other biomarkers in the blood that could be causing the atrial fibrillation (Mayo Clinical Staff, 2015). Positive biomarker results are elevated C-reactive protein and B-type natriuretic peptide
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