AF Association News & Events
Collaboration is key – three heart charities join forces to help prevent leading causes of death and disability by launching virtual Patient Educational Days as alternative to “Dr Google”
Three charities are collaborating to launch virtual educational days for patients and the public to draw attention to two of the worlds leadings causes of death – sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation.
Sudden cardiac death is the number one killer in the UK and worldwide – claiming more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, flu, pneumonia, car accidents, HIV and house fires combined.
Approx 80% of these deaths could be avoided if diagnosed and treated and with a defibrillator in communities for the bystander to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, whilst waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Often the only symptom to an underlying fatal heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) is fainting episodes (syncope).
A leading cause of stroke is the most common arrhythmia – atrial fibrillation (AF). AF-related strokes are more devastating, debilitating and often lead to death. With detection of the irregular heart rhythm through a simple pulse check, and medication to reduce the risk of clots forming in the heart due to the irregular heart rhythm (left untreated these blood clots then travel to the brain to cause stroke), the majority of AF-related strokes could be avoided.
Two simple things – Know Your Pulse to Know Your Heart Rhythm, and knowing where your nearest AED is so you can act promptly in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest – both these actions can save lives.
The international charities Arrhythmia Alliance, AF Association, and Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures (STARS) will launch on 03 October 2021 their virtual Patient Educational Days to help people with heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) better understand their condition and raise greater awareness and prevention of fatal and disabling heart rhythm conditions. Each charity’s Patient Educational Day will see medical experts provide key information on the detection, diagnosis, and management of specific heart rhythm conditions.
The Patient Educational Days will cover:
Arrhythmia Alliance Patient Educational Day will provide information on everything from palpitations, SVT, CPVT, Long QT, Brugada, preventing sudden cardiac death, the impact of COVID-19 on arrhythmias, and the latest technologies and treatments for heart rhythm conditions
AF Association will deliver presentations on: Detecting atrial fibrillation (AF), protecting against AF-related strokes, and access to appropriate treatments
STARS educational event will focus on syncope, reflex anoxic seizures, unexplained loss of consciousness (often caused by a potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder which if identified and treated can and does save lives) and Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTs), including the impact of Long COVID
An international panel of medical experts is an integral part of the annual Patients Educational Day. Mrs Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance, Founder and CEO of AF Association, and STARS, says: “Heart rhythm disorders are caused by the electrics in the heart vs the plumbing. Most of us are completely unaware and many will suffer no symptoms until a sudden cardiac arrest (like Christian Eriksen the footballer) or a devastating stroke caused by AF. We must be more aware to ensure detection of these deadly conditions, leading to diagnosis and correct the irregular heart rhythm. These events are a much better resource of information than ‘Dr Google’ because they give accurate and direct reliable information from international medical experts, plus patients also share their stories and experiences. There is so much we can do to save lives, so we encourage everyone to register to find out more.”
Don’t let the one you love be the one you lose. All three charities have been delivering Patient Educational Days for 27 years as part of the Arrhythmia Alliance Heart Rhythm Congress which is a four-day event – one day dedicated to patients and carers and three days dedicated to healthcare professionals – a unique collaboration not seen at any other medical congress in the world. Due to the ongoing pandemic these events are virtual, and one benefit is that people can watch and learn from the heart rhythm specialists at a time and date that suits them, from the comfort of their own home.
People can access all three Patient Educational Days for just a £20 contribution to the charity of their choice (Arrhythmia Alliance, AF Association, or STARS). The money raised will be used to support the charities’ dedicated helplines, support services and placement of defibrillators (AEDs) in communities. The Patient Educational Days’ content will be available, on-demand, for 12 months following launch on 03 October 2021.
Notes to Editors
For an interview with Mrs Trudie Lobban MBE, please contact Abi Stafford:
Arrhythmia Alliance are global advocates, working in partnership to reduce deaths and impact on individuals caused by cardiac arrhythmias and their associated morbidities. By raising awareness and campaigning for the improved detection and care of heart rhythm disorders, Arrhythmia Alliance aims to extend and improve the lives of the millions around the world that these conditions affect.
Atrial Fibrillation Association focuses on raising awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF) by providing information, education, awareness and support for patients and medical professionals involved in detecting, diagnosing and managing AF.
Visit website: www.afa-international.org
STARS works together with individuals, families, and medical professionals to alleviate the effects of, and provide support, education, and information on, syncope and reflex anoxic seizures (RAS), and to advance the education of the medical profession and the general public on these topics.