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Atrial Fibrillation | AU Health

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Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Why Choose Us

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF) is the most common arrhythmia affecting millions of Americans. AU Health sees many AF patients each year. 

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Quality Achievement Award

Get With The Guidelines® Atrial Fibrillation: Gold

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) affects millions of Americans, often leading to heart-related complications as well as increasing the risk for stroke fivefold. Get With The Guidelines® - AFIB is designed to help hospitals align patient treatment with the latest scientific guidelines; as well as monitor outpatient ablation procedures. 

Hospitals receiving Get With The Guidelines® Gold Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association® for 2 consecutive calendar years.

Atrial fibrillation is a rapid, disorganized rhythm that starts in the heart's atria (upper chambers) causing the ventricles (lower chambers) to beat irregularly. Due to the rapid, erratic signals, the atria "quiver" instead of contracting normally, making the ventricles contract irregularly, sometimes fast and sometimes slow.

Risk factors for AFib

Atrial fibrillation can occur at any age, however, it is most common in people 60 and older. Your chances of getting AF may increase if you have the following risk factors:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • High blood pressure (HBP)
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disease (HVD)
  • Lung disease
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid disease)
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heavy alcohol intake
  • Use of medication or substances that stimulate the heart

AF symptoms may resemble those of other heart disorders. While some patients may experience no symptoms, others may have the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Chest discomfort
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Light-headedness/dizziness
  • Shortness of breath with (or without) activity.
  • Syncope

Why it's important to be seen by a specialist

AF is treatable and generally not life threatening, however, if left untreated, it can lead to other serious medical problems, including:

  • Stroke: Is the greatest risk; patients with AF are 5 times more likely to have a stroke than someone in normal rhythm.
  • Heart failure: If your heart has to work too hard, you can end up with heart failure.
  • Chronic Fatigue

Treatment for AFib depends on how severe the symptoms are and if there are any other medical issues (such as heart disease or stroke).

Our goals:

  • Relieve AF symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Prevent blood clots to reduce the risk of stroke
  • Control heart rate
  • Restore and maintain a normal rhythm

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

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