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Atrial Fibrillation

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A 71 year old man has been admitted to the medical assessment unit with shortness of breath and has subsequently been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF). He is normally fit and well with no past medical history to note.

Life Science-pathophysiology of AF

Behavioural science- teaching and learning regarding lifestyle and drug regime.

Some of you (a lot, really) have been asking about the 4000 words scenarios, especially the AF case study. In terms of this particular case we would expect to see some of the following:

Highlight that AF is a very common arrhythmia, associated with 1.5-2 fold increase in mortality & 6 fold increase risk of CVA

An acknowledgment that there are a number of different types of A. fibrillation: paroxysmal, persistent and permanent

A discussion related to loss of atrial contraction and impact on ventricular rate

A discussion exploring that AF is initiated by rapid electrical activity arising from arrhythmogenic foci located in the muscular sleeves of the pulmonary veins

A note on re-entrant wavelets, reduced refractoriness and that conduction slowing facilitates re-entry

AF induced electrical re-modelling.

One of the most important things for patients is to understand their diagnoses and healthcare. The pathophysiology and terminology of diseases are not easy for most people to understand and it is important to bring it to a level that they can comprehend. Atrial fibrillation is a disease process that can be very difficult to understand and treatment can be complicated. Patient education guides are necessary to provide the patients with easy to understand information that they can refer back to and build off of. This paper aims to describe the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation and the rationale behind the information included in the patient education tool.

Atrial Fibrillation: A Patient Education Guide

The heart is a muscle that contains four chambers; the right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle. Each of these chambers has a purpose. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs and the left ventricle pumps blood to the rest of the body. The

right atrium receives deoxygenated blood via the superior and inferior vena cava. The blood then goes through the right ventricle and out to the lungs where it becomes oxygenated. The oxygenated blood then travels to the left atrium via the pulmonary veins, to the left ventricle, and then out to the rest of the body and organs through the aorta. The blood also supplies oxygen and nutrients to the heart via the coronary arteries that branch from the aorta.

This pumping action of blood flow is controlled



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