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Atrial fibrillation


Basic steps to stop stroke


Atrial fibrillation
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Thanks to quick thinking on the part of your spouse — and expert care in the emergency department — you survived a stroke with only minor long-term effects. You were also diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) primarily affecting the upper two heart chambers (atria). It's a problem you never knew you had, but your doctors suspect it may have contributed to the stroke.

Not everyone with atrial fibrillation can feel symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath. Either way, atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots in the heart. These clots can ­travel to and block arteries that supply blood to the brain. This blockage can result in the most common type of stroke (ischemic stroke), in which the brain doesn't receive enough blood flow.



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