Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition that affects the heart, causing an irregular heart beat. This is known as a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia).


What causes AF?

Normally, your heart beats at a rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute when you are at rest, and all of the heart chambers beat in unison. If you have AF, the electrical signals that control your heartbeat are abnormal. These signals cause the upper chambers of your heart (the atria) to beat unevenly and very quickly. In fact, the atria beat so quickly that the lower heart chambers (the ventricles) can't quite keep up, and your heart doesn't beat in the usual, coordinated manner.

This results in an irregular and rapid heart rate, often ranging from 100 to 180 beats per minute. When this happens, the heart cannot pump blood around the body as well as it needs to. 

For more in depth information about atrial fibrillation .....
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You can watch the following videos below to find out more about atrial fibrillation and some of the medicines (anticoagulants) used in this condition, from our staff at Tauranga Hospital:




Last updated: January 24, 2019