Atrial fibrillation - discharge
Atrial fibrillation or flutter is a common type of abnormal heartbeat. The heart rhythm is fast and most often irregular. You were in the hospital to treat this condition.
Auricular fibrillation - discharge; A-fib - discharge; AF - discharge; Afib - discharge
When You’re in the Hospital
You may have been in the hospital because you have atrial fibrillation. This condition occurs when your heart beats irregularly and usually faster than normal. You may have developed this problem while you were in the hospital for a heart attack, heart surgery, or other serious illness such as pneumonia or injury.
Treatments you may have received include:
You may have been given medicines to change your heartbeat or slow it down. Some are:
Taking Your Drugs
Have all of your prescriptions filled before you go home. You should take your medicines the way your health care provider has told you to.
You may be taking aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient), ticagrelor (Brilinta), warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or another blood thinner such as apixiban (Eliquis), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), dabigatran (Pradaxa) to help keep your blood from clotting.
If you are taking any blood thinner:
Limit how much alcohol you drink. Ask your provider when it is ok to drink, and how much is safe.
DO NOT smoke cigarettes. If you do smoke, your provider can help you quit.
Follow a heart healthy diet.
Try to avoid stressful situations.
Learn how to check your pulse, and check it every day.
Limit the amount of caffeine you drink (found in coffee, tea, colas, and many other beverages.)
DO NOT use cocaine, amphetamines, or any other illegal drugs. They may make your heart beat faster, and cause permanent damage to your heart.
When to Call the Doctor
Call for emergency help if you feel:
January CT, Wann LS, Alpert JS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(21):e1-76. PMID: 24685669 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24685669.
Morady F, Zipes DP. Atrial fibrillation: clinical features, mechanisms, and management. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2019:chap 38.
Zimetbaum P. Cardiac arrhythmias with supraventricular origin. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 64.
Review Date: 1/28/2019
Reviewed By: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.