Detecting AF in COVID-19 vaccine centres – helping to reduce the number of AF-related strokes

Back Detecting AF in COVID-19 vaccine centres – helping to reduce the number of AF-related strokes

As we are all aware, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer people have sought help when experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Despite TV advertisements and government messaging, we are still seeing an increase in deaths due to heart disease and strokes.

What can we realistically do to address this?

Arrhythmia Alliance and sister organisation, AF Association – in collaboration with vaccine hubs and GP surgeries – have produced resources to raise awareness of AF and consequences of AF-related stroke.

Some of the of the available resources and posters can be found at: https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/uk/detection-of-af-at-vaccination-centres

Offering one-lead ECG using AliveCor Kardia devices at time of vaccination is an ideal opportunity to detect atrial fibrillation without delaying access to the vitally important COVID-19 vaccine.

Piloted in a few sites around the country it is very easy and simple to set up. Resources, posters, referral letters, evaluation forms and even the limited loan of AliveCor Kardia are all available from both Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association.

Contact trudie@heartrhythmalliance.org for more information or to discuss in more detail. If you would like free supply of the resources please state approximate quantity of each and address for delivery. There are also videos available demonstrating how to take a manual pulse check, how to use an AliveCor Kardia and how to download the FibriCheck app and use for access to 24-hour free ECGs.

Now is the time, especially with the over 70’s age group returning for their second vaccine, we can and should help the NHS by detecting AF and ensuring anticoagulation therapy is available and access offered to appropriate treatment options.

AF Association recently launched the AF White Paper calling for:

PREVENT – DETECT – PROTECT – CORRECT - PERFECT

https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/af-white-paper-put-people-first