A Call to Action for Primary Care to Prevent Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation– Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). It may cause no symptoms, but it is often associated with palpitations, fainting, chest pain, or congestive heart failure; however, in some people atrial fibrillation is caused by otherwise idiopathic or benign conditions.
AF increases the risk of stroke; the degree of stroke risk can be up to seven times that of the average population, depending on the presence of additional risk factors (such as high blood pressure). It may be identified clinically when taking a pulse, and the presence of AF can be confirmed with an electrocardiogram(ECG or EKG) which demonstrates the absence of P waves together with an irregular ventricular rate.
In AF, the normal regular electrical impulses generated by the sinoatrial node are overwhelmed by disorganized electrical impulses usually originating in the roots of the pulmonary veins, leading to irregular conduction of impulses to the ventricles which generate the heartbeat. AF may occur in episodes lasting from minutes to days (“paroxysmal”), or be permanent in nature. A number of medical conditions increase the risk of AF, particularly mitral stenosis (narrowing of the mitral valve of the heart).
Apply the CHADS2 or CHA2DS2-VASc scoring system to assess AF-related stroke risk. Outline current guideline recommendations for stroke prevention in AF. Identify and implement strategies to overcome barriers to guideline adherence in AF-related stroke prevention. Summarize current clinical and pharmacoeconomic data regarding novel anticoagulants for AF-related stroke prevention. Utilize strategies for safe and effective dosing and switching to novel anticoagulants when appropriate for patients with AF.
1.o Free CEUs for Nurse Practitioners
This course also offers Free CEUs for Physicians & Nurses