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Atrial Fibrillation

Essay by   •  July 21, 2011  •  Essay  •  452 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,780 Views

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Atrial Fibrillation is the most common type of serious arrhythmia. It's a very fast and irregular contraction of the atria. Instead of the SA node directing the electrical rhythm, many different impulses rapidly fire at once, causing a very fast, chaotic rhythm in the atria. The electrical impulses are so fast, the atria can't contract or squeeze blood effectively into the ventricle. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm arrhythmia that starts in the upper parts of the atria of the heart. Normally, the heart beats in a strong, steady rhythm.

Atrial fibrillation pathophysiology is an attempt to dilate the atria activities of several molecular pathways. It is a type of abnormal heart rhythm which takes place in the two upper chambers of the heart. The name has been derived from the word quivering (mayoclinic). Here the heart muscles fibrillates instead of coordinated contraction. Atrial fibrillation can be speculated by checking the heartbeat of a particular person or through his pulse rate.

The incidence for this arrhythmia would be older people rather than young people. The disease is common with increase in age of a particular person. A patient having an age range between 70 to 80yrs is likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation more that those who are younger in age. This is mostly because as you get older, your risk for heart disease and other conditions that can cause atrial fibrillation. This is more common in people who have heart diseases or conditions, such as coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatic heart disease. Atrial fibrillation is uncommon in children and rare. This arrhythmia can occur in patients with or without heart disease or related symptoms, which if they experience A-fib they are more likely are at risk of having a stroke.

A cause of atrial fibrillation typically results from a pre-existing condition that makes you more at risk to the disease. It provides a tangible reason for having atrial fibrillation. Conditions that damage or strain the heart commonly cause atrial fibrillation. Some causes of Atrial Fibrillation are high blood pressure, hearts attacks, abnormal heart valves, heart defects that you are born with and previous heart surgery and a lot more that can cause A-fib. Some people who have atrial fibrillation don't have any heart defects or damage, a condition called lone atrial fibrillation (mayoclinic).

Many patients with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are unaware of the abnormal heart rhythm. The symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation vary for each individual. Some are very strong symptoms, while others may not realize that they have a-fib until they are examined by a doctor. Some signs and symptoms are shortness of breath, weakness or difficulty exercising, chest pain, dizziness or fainting, fatigue and confusion.

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