Heart screening event raises awareness of Atrial Fibrillation

Cardiology students and lecturers took part in an event at Health and Wellbeing Academy yesterday to support a global campaign by the AF Association to raise awareness of a common heart rhythm problem that increases the risk of stroke.

Dr Emma Rees led a team of six Healthcare Science (Cardiology) students, a researcher from the Medical School, and three Cardiology lecturers who screened 151 participants during the event.

Dr Rees said;

“It’s time to put the spotlight on atrial fibrillation. We want to empower people to check their own pulse from time to time and when they feel a symptom.”

The screening involved a pulse check and a simple heart rhythm recording using new technology that attaches to mobile phones. The method used was driven by recent research involving Professor Ceri Phillips, Head of The College of Human and Health Sciences and Professor Julian Halcox, Chair in Cardiology at Swansea University Medical School.

Palpitations are common and can be innocent but may be associated with an irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation. This irregular heart beat significantly increases the risk of having a stroke and the risk increases with age. Atrial fibrillation can even occur without symptoms in some people. Thankfully, it can be detected by a simple pulse check and the risk of stroke can be reduced by medication.

The team referred 16 participants to their GP for review because of significant symptoms or irregularities in their heart rhythm. The full dataset from the event will be analysed by undergraduate student Ian Anthony for his dissertation and will be available in due course.


 Heart Event Photo