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Information for people affected by AF

ABOUT THE AF TURNAROUND CAMPAIGN

 
ABOUT THE AF TURNAROUND CAMPAIGN
 
 

Atrial fibrillation (often referred to as ‘AF’) is the most common arrhythmia (an arrhythmia is when your heart doesn’t beat at a regular rhythm)1 and if left untreated can increase the risk of stroke.2 If you are considered to be at risk of having an AF-related stroke, you may be given information by your healthcare professional on medicines to help prevent this.2

AF Turnaround provides tools and information to help people with AF have conversations with their doctor about living with AF and therapies to prevent AF-related stroke.

References: 
  1. Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA). AF Information & Advice For Patients. What is Atrial Fibrillation? Available at: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/atrial-fibrillation. Last accessed: May 2018
  2. 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

AF films

 
AF TURNAROUND FILMS
 
 
AF Film title: 
Aspirin and AF-related stroke

Prof Martin Cowie, Imperial College London, discusses why aspirin is not recommended on its own for the prevention of AF-related stroke

AF Film title: 
Understanding the risk of AF-related stroke

Dr David Collas, Specialist in Stroke Medicine at Watford General Hospital, discusses AF and the risk of AF-related stroke

AF Film title: 
Understanding anticoagulation therapy options: reducing the risk of AF-related stroke

Dr Dhiraj Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, discusses how an AF-related stroke can be prevented through anticoagulation therapy

AF Film title: 
Understanding anticoagulation therapy options: meaningful patient and healthcare professional conversations

Dr Dhiraj Gupta, Consultant Cardiologist at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, explains the need for meaningful conversations about AF between healthcare professionals and patients

AF Film title: 
Living with AF and the importance of adherence to long-term anticoagulation therapy: is my anticoagulation therapy long-term?

Dr Jonathan Salter, GP at Knightwick Surgery in Worcestershire, explains how the length of time that a patient will have anticoagulation therapy is calculated

AF Film title: 
Living with AF and the importance of adherence to long-term anticoagulation therapy: the possible impact of lifestyle on anticoagulation therapy

Dr Jonathan Salter, GP at Knightwick Surgery in Worcestershire, goes through the possible impact that lifestyle choices might have on anticoagulation therapy

MY PLEDGE TO SUPPORT CHANGE IN AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE

 
MY PLEDGE TO SUPPORT CHANGE IN AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE
 
 

One of the key pillars of AF Turnaround is for people affected by AF to take a pledge to support change in preventing AF-related stroke.

Click on a statement below to learn more:

As someone with AF or a loved one/carer of someone who has AF, I pledge to:

Not be afraid of asking questions that may help my understanding of AF and AF-related stroke
 

The best patient care happens when there has been truly shared decision making. Patients need to have the educational tools available to ensure that they can ask questions and make informed decisions about their anticoagulation therapy. This will help to support compliance with their chosen therapy option

Patients, carers and family members should ask doctors to explain the condition and the associated risks in language that they understand

Learn more about manual pulse checks in order to help more individuals to be diagnosed with AF
 

You should be encouraged to find out how to undertake your own pulse checks or support family members to take their pulse

QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE

 
QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE
 
 

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with AF you may have questions for your doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional about the type of medication that you or your loved one has been prescribed.

Current guidelines recommend that the majority of people at risk of AF-related stroke should be prescribed one of the following medicines, which are known as anticoagulants:1,2

  • Apixaban
  • Dabigatran
  • Edoxaban
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Warfarin

Not all of these medicines are appropriate for all patients or all types of AF, so you should discuss with your doctor which of them may be right for you.

TOP QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT PREVENTING AF-RELATED STROKE AND ANTICOAGULATION THERAPY

  1. Does my diagnosis of AF mean that I am at risk of AF-related stroke and how high is my risk?
  2. Do I need medication to reduce my risk of an AF-related stroke?
  3. What are the medication options to reduce my risk of an AF-related stroke and what are the differences between them?
  4. Are there any restrictions on my lifestyle as a result of the medication I have been/or may be prescribed?
  5. (If you are an AF patient and taking aspirin) Have I been prescribed aspirin to reduce my risk of AF-related stroke, if so have I also been prescribed an anticoagulant?
  6. Should I continue to take aspirin if I am also prescribed an anticoagulant?
References: 
  1. 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
  2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Edoxaban for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Technology Appraisal Guidance. September 2015. Available at:
    https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta355/resources/edoxaban-for-preventing-stroke-and-systemic-embolism-in-people-with-nonvalvular-atrial-fibrillation-82602669987781. Last accessed: May 2018

ARE YOU FULLY INFORMED ABOUT AF?

 
ARE YOU FULLY INFORMED ABOUT AF?
 
 

The AF Turnaround campaign aims to help people with AF understand the importance of having meaningful and informed conversations with their healthcare professional about AF and AF-related stroke. This postcard provides information on AF and includes a checklist of key questions that you might want to ask during the consultation.

Be sure to keep this consultation checklist postcard handy to help you prepare for your next healthcare professional appointment.

STOPPING ANTICOAGULATION THERAPY BEFORE AN OPERATION, MEDICAL OR DENTAL PROCEDURE

 
STOPPING ANTICOAGULATION THERAPY BEFORE AN OPERATION, MEDICAL OR DENTAL PROCEDURE
 
 

If you are taking anticoagulation therapy to reduce your risk of AF-related stroke and are due to have an operation or a medical/dental procedure that could cause bleeding, you might need to stop taking your anticoagulation therapy for a short period of time. 1, 2

It is important that your healthcare professional is aware that you are taking anticoagulation therapy, and you should tell them as soon as possible. He/she will advise you as to whether you need to stop your anticoagulation therapy prior to surgery and for how long.3 However, do not stop taking your anticoagulant unless your healthcare professional has told you to do so.

References: 
  1. Kristensen, SD. et al. ‘2014 ESC/ESA Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management’. Eur Heart J. 2014:35;2383-2431
  2. Steffel, J. et al. ‘The 2018 European Heart Rhythm Association Practical Guide on the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation’. Eur Heart J. 2018:39;1330–1393
  3. Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA). A Guide for Patients Prescribed Oral Anticoagulant Therapy. Available at:  http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/files/files/A-A%20US/A%20Guide%20for%20Patients%20Prescribed%20Oral%20Anticoagulant%20Therapy%20A5.pdf. Last accessed: May 2018

FURTHER RESOURCES AND INFORMATION ON AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE

 
FURTHER RESOURCES AND INFORMATION ON AF AND AF-RELATED STROKE
 
 

NICE patient decision aid for AF-related stroke therapy

National clinical guidelines on AF (NICE CG180) recommend that most people at risk of an AF-related stroke should be prescribed anticoagulation therapy.1 NICE has developed a patient decision aid to help people at risk of AF-related stroke decide if anticoagulation therapy is right for them (and which anticoagulant to take if they choose to do so). 

Materials from patient groups on AF and AF-related stroke

Would you like to learn more about diagnosis, management and available therapies for AF and AF-related stroke? Further information on AF and AF-related stroke can be obtained from the following organisations and resources:

The AF Association

Anticoagulation UK

References: 
  1. 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