What if I Was Diagnosed With Afib at the ER?

Emergency room sign greets a patient as they come in for a cardiac event that is diagnosed as afib in the emergency department While the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or Afib at your most recent ER visit may surprise you, it is not surprising to us. Many of our patients who end up requiring treatment for Afib only find out about their condition from an ER visit. The visit may have resulted from significant chest pain or palpitations that they thought were representative of a heart attack. Or, they may have been in the ER for a completely different reason, but heart irregularities were detected. Regardless, you should look at this diagnosis as an opportunity to avoid what can cause a follow-on life-threatening condition such as stroke or heart attack.

Being diagnosed with Afib at the ER does not make the condition any more dangerous than a diagnosis at the office or incidentally at a check-up with your primary care physician. Sometimes, this incidental diagnosis at the ER catches Afib at an earlier stage when it is more treatable and before it has progressed to something more persistent, which can be far more difficult to handle.

Once the diagnosis has been made, he will have a consultation with Dr. Tordini, our electrophysiologist, to understand more about what atrial fibrillation means and your treatment options (which may include watchful waiting with lifestyle modification, medication, or procedural intervention), and your prognosis. When caught early, you will likely have a choice in treatment modalities unless extenuating circumstances force us to take one treatment path over another.

Most importantly, remember that AFib is treatable, and even if it is only occasional or silent, where it does not have any outward symptoms, it represents a condition that can deteriorate your heart health and cause serious long-term issues and concerns.

We look forward to being able to help you with your new diagnosis with the compassion and care that has become the hallmark of our practice.

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Dr. Tordini is a part of Florida Medical Clinic in Tampa

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