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Alex calls for improved detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation to prevent 7,100 strokes a year

Alex & Atrial Fibrilation

As part of “AFAware Week” Alex Cunningham MP has pledged his support to improve the detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation and help prevent 7,100 strokes a year.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance encountered by doctors and is associated with deadly and debilitating consequences including heart failure, stroke, poor mental health, reduced quality of life and premature death.  There are an estimated 1.5 million sufferers in the UK and the condition costs the NHS £1.8 billion per year.

As part of AFAware Week and the “Detect and Protect” campaign, the Stockton North MP received a pulse check in Parliament and committed to helping tackle the condition across his constituency.

Pulse checks are the easiest and most effective method to detect AF, but only 38.2% of Clinical Commissioning Groups across the UK encourage GPs to carry out pulse checks.  In Stockton North, there is no current policy to encourage pulse checks.  When an irregular pulse check is identified, it is important that the most appropriate treatment is then prescribed.  It is estimated that by doing so, 7,100 AF-related strokes could be prevented each year.

Commenting on the importance of detecting and treating AF, Alex said:

“I am delighted to support the “Detect and Protect” campaign in advance of AFAware week.  Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects a large proportion of the British population and more needs to be done to promote awareness about detecting and treating AF patients.  Not only is it important that AF is identified through the use of a simple pulse check, but it is crucial that, following this diagnosis, patients receive the most appropriate treatment for them.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, Chief Executive of the AF Association, said: “Atrial fibrillation is a very serious condition, and every 15 seconds someone in the UK suffers an AF-related stroke.  Despite this, not enough is being done to help detect then treat people who have the condition.  With this in mind, we welcome the support of Alex Cunningham MP and the commitment to help promote awareness of AF within the constituency of Stockton North.”