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When the heart loses rhythm

Fibrillation or atrial spasm is the most common disorder of heart rhythm. Her health consequences are sometimes serious. Physicians, however, have many treatment options.

There are three types of atrial fibrillation:
Seizure-like fibrillation. It will naturally stop within 48 hours.
Persistent fibrillation. It can be discontinued with medication or an electrical shock.
Permanent fibrillation. It persists even after medication or electrical discharge, and goes into a chronic form.

What happens to fibrillation? When the atrium is misplaced, the blood does not flow through the heart as it should. Its flow is slowed down and a blood clot may develop. The formation of a blood clot is the greatest risk of untreated atrial fibrillation. The clot may enter the bloodstream and travel through the bloodstream to, for example, the arteries supplying the brain with oxygen and nutrients. Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common causes of vascular stroke. And this is a state of serious health and life-threatening condition.

Mainly prevent blood clots

Doctors try to end the resulting atrial fibrillation.
If fibrillation is not possible, the aim is to prevent blood clots from being released into the bloodstream.
In the long run, it is then necessary to control the heart rate (the speed at which the heart beats) and the heart rhythm.

Depending on the type of fibrillation and the risks present, the patient's blood thinning strategy is chosen. The aim is to prevent the formation of a blood clot and thus to protect the patient, especially before the cerebrovascular accident. Drugs use warfarin, new generation antiseptic drugs or acetylsalicylic acid to "thin" blood. The duration of treatment varies among individuals, but sometimes it is necessary to treat life-long.

How to return the heart to the right rhythm

To remove arrhythmia and to induce regular heart rhythm, medications (via a vein infusion) or electrical discharge are administered. Both treatments require hospitalization.
Another option is a more permanent regular use of medications that maintain the right heart rhythm.
In some cases, when atrial fibrillation fails to be permanently aborted, doctors are taking medication that slows down heartbeat. They are used in such doses to avoid heart failure. In particular, beta-blocker preparations are prescribed.
In younger individuals with no other heart disease, the so-called catheter radiofrequency ablation (isolation of lung veins) is sometimes used. This treats atrial fibrillation, which returns despite the use of medication.

Author: MUDr. Hana Králová
Source: U lékař

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