A few minutes of listening to your heartbeat can highlight just how hard the heart must work to ensure that every cell in your body receives the oxygen it needs. This important job demands a consistent and strong heartbeat so that enough blood can move through the circulatory system on a regular basis. Largo Medical Center urges those who suspect that they have atrial fibrillation to visit our Pinellas County hospital.
What Atrial Fibrillation Does
While a strong and healthy heart can quickly move blood from the atria to the ventricles with less than 100 beats per minute, a heart that suffers from atrial fibrillation may have a much harder job carrying blood through its four chambers. A weak electrical impulse, which forces the heart to contract, is the reason why the heart cannot effectively move blood through the rest of the body. Instead, large amounts of blood may remain in the atria, making the heart work harder to remove it.
Why Atrial Fibrillation Is Dangerous
Atrial fibrillation can cause any number of serious heart-related conditions. When blood is stagnant in one of the heart chambers, it can form clots. These clots may eventually move through the bloodstream and obstruct the flow of blood. If a clot prevents blood from reaching the heart, a heart attack can occur. Should a clot block blood from entering the brain, a stroke can happen. Because the heart must work so hard to perform its job, atrial fibrillation can also lead to heart failure.
How Heart Doctors Can Treat Atrial Fibrillation
A proper diagnosis is imperative to giving patients the treatment they need to effectively manage their atrial fibrillation. In many cases, chronic exhaustion or weakness may be the only symptoms that alert patients and their physicians to a problem. Once a diagnosis is made, though, medication can often be given to reduce the risks associated with atrial fibrillation. A surgeon may also implant a defibrillator or pacemaker to regulate heart contractions.
Would you like to learn more about atrial fibrillation and its symptoms? Then call The AFib and Heart Rhythm Centers at Largo Medical Center at (727) 470-6826 to speak with a Consult-A-Nurse representative. We would be happy to address your questions and guide you to the appropriate healthcare services.