Atrial Fibrillation (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Blood Thinning Medications
Other drugs are used to help patients avoid blood clot formation that may lead to strokes or additional health problems. The decision to utilize other drugs can be augmented by the CHADS2 score that assigns points to various conditions (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age, diabetes, and previous stroke) in an AFib patient. The higher the points, the more likely the patient is to develop a stroke; some clinicians use this score to help determine what other drugs may help their patients with AFib avoid a stroke.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Surgery
Before the development of catheter ablation, open heart surgery was done to interrupt conducting pathways in both atria. This is called the surgical maze procedure. Maze surgery is usually considered in patients who need some other type of heart surgery, such as valve repair or coronary artery bypass surgery.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Follow-up
If patients have no other ongoing heart problems and medications succeed in controlling the patient's heart rate, the patient may be sent home from the emergency department. This is often done after consultation with the patient's doctor or cardiologist. Patients should follow-up with their health care professional within 48 hours.
If the heart rhythm does not convert to normal by itself, the patient may need electrical cardioversion, or defibrillation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2015
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