Affected By AFib: Understanding Atrial Fibrillation

Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Jonathan Krathen, DO
Dr. Jonathan Krathen, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Deborah
Photo credit Dr. Jonathan Krathen
Podcast Episode
Deborah Heart and Lung Center Health Report
Discussing Atrial Fibrillation (Pt. 2)
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“When the pulse is irregular and tremulous and the beats occur at intervals, then the impulse of life fades; when the pulse is slender (smaller than feeble, but still perceptible, thin like a silk thread), then the impulse of life is small.”

- Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen

The quote above may be history’s earliest written description of atrial fibrillation, found in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen), compiled between 1696 and 2598 BC.

Also known as AFib, this most common adult cardiac rhythm disorder is triggered by abnormal electrical activity within the heart’s upper chambers or “atria.” The misfires cause them to quiver, or “fibrillate.”

The most regular feature of atrial fibrillation is irregularity! It produces an irregular – often chaotic -- pulse, along with symptoms that often include episodic

Podcast Episode
Deborah Heart and Lung Center Health Report
Discussing Atrial fibrillation
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

• Breathlessness

• Chest discomfort

• Palpitations

• Reduced exercise tolerance

• Light-headedness or fainting

… or maddeningly, no symptoms at all!

According to the American Heart Association, at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib. And whether you notice it or not, its consequences can be serious: blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other cardiac complications.

“You absolutely have much greater risk for cardioembolic stroke,” says Dr. Jonathan Krathen, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Deborah. “If you look at someone who has AFib versus someone without AFib, the risk of stroke in AFib is 500 times higher. As for the development of heart failure and long-term changes with AFib, unfortunately, some of these changes can be permanent. So, if you had untreated AFib for a number of years, a lot of these changes are going to be difficult or impossible to reverse.”

But if AFib is caught early enough, treatments available at Deborah CAN reverse it, and if caught later, can make it manageable enough for a long, happy, and active life.

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Dr. Krathen about atrial fibrillation.

Could you have AFib? Evaluate your risk.

To schedule an appointment, visit DemandDeborah.org  or call 609-831-4456.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Dr. Jonathan Krathen