Af In a Primary Care Setting

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Introduction For the purpose of this assignment I have chosen to review a client with atrial fibrillation in a primary care setting. I will discuss the patient’s original presentation, including analysis and interpretation of his 12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG), diagnosis and subsequent management. Throughout the assignment I will discuss local and national guidelines and the evidence behind the chosen management for this client. For the purpose of this assignment the client will be referred to as Mr. Jones. Cardiac arrhythmias affect more than 700,000 people in England is one of the top ten reasons for hospital admission (Department of Health 2005). Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common and important cardiac arrhythmia, it the most common of all the arrhythmias seen in general practice. AF affects 5% of the UK population over the age of 65 years, rising to 10% in those over 75 years of age (Kirby 2005). The principal significance, both to the patient and the healthcare system is the increased risk of embolic stroke. Atrial fibrillation is associated with 15% of all strokes and with 36% of strokes in patients over the age of 60 (Hobbs 1999). Having a diagnosis of AF increases the risk of stroke five fold. It is an arrhythmia associated with serious morbidity, mortality and health service utilisation. AF and its complications now consume 1% of the United Kingdom National Health Service budget (Watson, Shanstila, and Lip 2007). Despite this it is an area that frequently remains unrecognised in general practices. Within primary care AF is an area that has not been fully addressed. However the introduction of the National Service Frameworks and updated National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines has brought this condition to the forefront of primary care teams. Standard five of the National Service Framework (NSF) Older

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