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Information for healthcare professionals managing people with AF

ABOUT THE AF TURNAROUND CAMPAIGN

 
ABOUT THE AF TURNAROUND CAMPAIGN
 
 

Informed or advised by a Steering Committee of expert healthcare professionals and patient advocates, the AF Turnaround campaign supports change in the therapy options and management of AF and AF-related stroke in line with NICE CG180 guidelines.

The risk of AF-related stroke in AF patients:

  1. AF is associated with a five-fold increased risk of stroke compared to people who do not have AF1

  2. Ten AF patients in the UK will suffer a stroke in the next four hours2

  3. Approximately 25% of ischaemic stroke patients with AF die within 30 days3

NICE CG180 guidelines on AF recommends anticoagulation with an oral anticoagulant for AF-related stroke prevention. The guidelines also advise against aspirin on its own to prevent AF-related stroke.4

Implementing CG180 guidelines may result in approximately 10,000 fewer strokes per year in people with AF.5 AF Turnaround aims to support awareness and implementation of CG180 to ensure that these patients get the therapy that they deserve.

References: 
  1. Katritsis, G. and Katritsis, D. ‘Management of Complications in Anticoagulated Patients with Atrial Fibrillation’. Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev. 2017:6(4);167-178

  2. Department of Health. Health Inequalities National Support Team: Developing a Systematic Approach to the Identification and Management of Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/developing-a-systematic-approach-to-the-identification-and-management-of-atrial-fibrillation. Last accessed: May 2018

  3. Fang, M.C et al. ‘Long-term survival after ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation’. Neurology. 2014;82:1033-7

  4. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Atrial Fibrillation: management. Clinical Guideline (CG180). June 2014. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG180. Last accessed: May 2018

  5. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Putting NICE guidance into practice. Costing report: atrial fibrillation. Implementing the NICE guideline on atrial fibrillation (CG180). June 2014. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg180/resources/costing-report-243730909. Last accessed: May 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF CG180

 
THE IMPORTANCE OF CG180
 
 

Our infographic demonstrates the significance and importance of effectively implementing CG180 guidelines so that every AF patient gets the most clinically appropriate therapy – taking into account patient preference - that they should expect and deserve for AF-related stroke. Be sure to download and keep handy the infographic to remind yourself and colleagues of the importance of applying NICE CG180 guidelines to clinical practice.

MY COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING CHANGE IN AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE

 
MY COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING CHANGE IN AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE
 
 

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

PROTECTING YOUR PATIENTS FROM THE RISK OF AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE

 
PROTECTING YOUR PATIENTS FROM THE RISK OF AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE
 
 

We want to ensure that every patient at risk of having an AF-related stroke receives the care that they deserve. Are you helping to protect your patients from the risk of AF-related stroke?

Be sure to keep our patient review checklist postcard handy to help you uphold the level of care required of AF patients, as outlined by NICE CG180 guidelines. The checklist discusses how to assess bleeding risk using the HAS-BLED score and provides information on how often different patients with AF should be assessed.

PATIENT RESOURCES

 
PATIENT RESOURCES
 
 

AF Turnaround is committed to ensuring that patients are empowered to have meaningful conversations with their healthcare professionals about AF and AF-related stroke, through the provision of patient-focused tools and information.

During your next consultation with an AF patient, remember to tell them about our website and the patient resources that we provide.

GUIDANCE AND GUIDELINES ON AF-RELATED STROKE

 
GUIDANCE AND GUIDELINES ON AF-RELATED STROKE