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One of the key pillars of AF Turnaround is for healthcare professionals who care for people with AF to commit to supporting change in preventing AF-related stroke.

Click on a statement below to learn more:

As a healthcare professional who cares for people with AF and may be at risk of AF-related stroke, I commit to:

Make every contact count

Improved identification of patients with AF through opportunistic manual pulse checks across all clinical settings may enable more people to have their AF-related stroke risk appropriately managed

Clinical settings should also make use of the available small scale and innovative technology that supports identification of AF, such as smartphone applications

Act with appropriate urgency when a diagnosis of AF has been given

Patients with AF who are not receiving appropriate anticoagulation for their individual stroke risk are at risk of an AF-related stroke at any time, with potentially devastating consequences for these patients and their families and carers

Initiation onto any therapy should only occur when all options have been discussed with the patient and the choice has been based on the clinical features of the options and the patient’s and preferences

Communicate clearly about AF and AF-related stroke prevention in a way that is helpful to patients

Healthcare professionals need to receive more training and education to enable them to feel confident talking to patients with AF about their stroke risk and bleeding risk and to answer any questions that these patients may have. Resources are available such as the NICE Atrial Fibrillation Patient Decision Aid and via the Don’t Wait to Anticoagulate website to assist healthcare professionals in communicating with patients about their individualised risk

It is important that patients feel informed, educated and reassured when initiated onto the appropriate anticoagulation to help them understand the need for continued adherence to their therapy

It is important that follow-up appointments are used as opportunities to check patients’ understanding of their condition and to reinforce the importance of anticoagulation therapy in managing their risk of AF-related stroke

Communicate with patients about the inappropriate use of aspirin in AF-related stroke prevention

Far too many patients are still on aspirin alone, rather than an oral anticoagulant to reduce their individual risk of AF-related stroke. Healthcare professionals need more training and support on how to have a responsible conversation about aspirin with their patients with AF, to ensure their patients understand aspirin alone is no longer considered to be appropriate for the prevention of AF-related stroke

Whilst we recognise that some AF patients may be taking aspirin for other health conditions, many are likely to have been prescribed aspirin solely for AF-related stroke prevention