Atrial Fibrillation and the Risk of Stroke

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 Cardiologist, discusses atrial fibrillation and the risk of stroke.

 Cardiologist, discusses atrial fibrillation and the risk of stroke.

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

The most important part of treatment of atrial fibrillation is the prevention of stroke. 

We have excellent therapies, these being the anticoagulants warfarin, Coumadin and now the newer agents that are very, very effective in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. We decide on who is the most appropriate candidates for these treatments by using risk-scoring systems such as CHADS2 and HAS-BLED but these scoring systems help us to make sure that the right patient gets the right therapy.

There’s one common misconception with respect to stroke and atrial fibrillation and that relates to whether the atrial fibrillation is permanent, by that I mean it’s there all the time or paroxysmal meaning it’s intermittent at times the patient is a normal rhythm, and at times they are in atrial fibrillation.  

Some people think that if they are in atrial fibrillation only intermittently or this paroxysmal atrial fibrillation their stroke risk is lower than those patients who  are in atrial fibrillation all the time or those with permanent atrial fibrillation.  

That’s not true and so it’s very important whether your atrial fibrillation is intermittent or permanent that we still look at the use of anticoagulants to try and prevent stroke.

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Presenter: Dr. Frank Halperin, Cardiologist, Kelowna, BC

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This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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