Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) is the most common irregular beat found in 1 out of every 150 people in the US. A-Fib increases your risk for having a stroke 5-fold. Instead of the SA node (pacemaker of the heart) directing the electrical rhythm, many different impulses rapidly fire at once causing a very fast chaotic rhythm in the atria. When the atria do not contract, the formation of thrombus or blood clots increases greatly within the heart. These clots can then travel to the carotid arteries causing a stroke. Many people may not have symptoms, but shortness of breathe and fatigue are the most common.
What were looking for:
We rule out A-Fib by using an electrocardiogram or ECG. This is a non-invasive, painless procedure done by simply placing electrodes on the legs and arms and connecting them to a machine that records the electrical activity of the heart.