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Elena asked...

I was diagnosed with AF

Tags: heart

Hi, I was diagnosed with AF last Wednesday at A&E, I saw one of your recommended cardiologists on Friday who refered me for further tests, I am waiting to hear from them. I have had chest pains since then, for the last few days. The consultant seemed to think this was Ok. Do you think is normal to experience these chest pains? I don't particularly want to go back to A&E. Thanks

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The answer

Dear Elena,

We are sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation also referred to as AF. This heart condition causes the heart to contract in an irregular rhythm and often at a much faster pace than normal. It effects around one million people in the UK and has a higher incidence in women than men.

While the most common symptoms of AF are heart palpitations, these can sometimes be accompanied by feeling faint, tired, breathless and in some cases chest pain.

If you have already seen a cardiologist then I am hopeful that you have received treatments that can often include medications to thin your blood and restore the heart to a more normal rate and rhythm.

It is good that you have already seen a consultant and that you have brought your chest pain to their attention. While the chest pain can be an unfortunate symptom of this condition, we would still recommend you seek an urgent appointment with either your consultant or GP to make sure that everything has been investigated thoroughly, especially if this is worrying you.

As with any chest pain, it is important that you recognise the signs of when emergency medical attention is required. Should you feel unwell with this chest pain, become cool, clammy, nauseous or you vomit, you must dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. If the emergency services feel an ambulance is not necessary they will advise you of this, so please don’t hesitate to call them if at any point you are at all concerned.

We do hope that whatever treatment you have received will help you to feel better soon.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses