What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, discusses what is atrial fibrillation.

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Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, discusses what is atrial fibrillation.
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Featuring Dr. Frank Halperin, MD, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist
Video Title
What is Atrial Fibrillation? Duration: 1 minute, 12 seconds

So typically, the heart, which is a mechanical pump, is controlled by electrical activity. 

This electrical activity comes from the pacemaker in the heart which is called the sinus node. This results in regular contractions of the atria, which is the collecting chambers and then subsequently the ventricles, which are the pumping chambers which pump the blood to the body.  

This happens again and again on a regular basis and this results in a cardiac output and lets us do the things in life we would like to do. In a normal heartbeat electricity travels in a normal regular controlled manner.  

In atrial fibrillation the situation is much different. There is an irregular or chaotic pattern of electricity within the atrium, which results in a rapid irregular pulse and inefficiency in terms of cardiac performance. 

This results in patients having symptoms such as palpitation, or fluttering in the chest, they have decreased exercise tolerance.  They can’t do the things they typically could and they often will develop shortness of breath.  

These things interfere with one’s quality of life and hence it’s very important that if these symptoms should occur that you should see your practitioner.

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

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

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.