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Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes an irregular heartbeat. There are various causes of AF. Medication can slow a fast heart rate and ease symptoms. Sometimes treatment can restore the heart rhythm back to normal. In addition, a medicine to prevent clots forming is usually advised to reduce the risk of having a stroke.
The British Heart Foundation provides information on how to check for atrial fibrillation.
An anticoagulant is a medicine that stops blood from clotting. Warfarin is the main oral anticoagulant used in the UK. It is used in Atrial Fibrillation, but also for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the veins of the legs).
A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you're resting, and is regular. The main difference between a normal rhythm and atrial fibrillation is that you are unable to predict when the next heart beat will come along, as heart rate is irregular.
This may lead to a number of problems, including dizziness and shortness of breath. You may also be aware of a fast and irregular heartbeat (palpitations) and feel very tired.
How is it treated? Includes videos on the ECG test and ablation
Medical Care when we are closed
Please do not ask to see a doctor out of hours unless you genuinely cannot wait until the surgery re-opens.
Emergency: Dial 999 or go to your nearest A&E Department. Chest pains and / or shortness of breath do constitute an emergency (you must not dial 999 for anything other than an emergency).
Out of Hours Service: If you phone the surgery when we are closed you will be automatically transferred to the out of hours service SELDOC (South East London Doctors on call). Alternatively you can phone SELDOC directly on: 020 8693 9066. You will be given advice, asked to visit the out of hours centre, or be visited by the doctor on call.
NHS Walk In Service: The local NHS walk-in centre also provides healthcare advice, information and treatment with no appointment necessary. The nearest walk-in centre is: The Junction Health Centre, Arches 5-8, Clapham Junction Station, 5-8 Grant Rd, London, SW11 2NU. Telephone: 0333 200 1718.
NHS 111 Service: In the case of urgent need when the practice is closed you can call NHS 111 to speak to a triage nurse. Your needs will be assessed and recieve advice or arrangements will made for you to see a doctor. Please refer to the website for further information www.nhs.uk/111
Non-emergency: Take a look at our "Get health information" page. Alternatively, call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.
Minor Injuries: We do not provide a minor injuries service. You should attend A&E or the local minor injuries unit at Guy's Hospital Urgent Care Centre.
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On Tuesday 6th November 2018 the surgery will be closing at 12:30 for staff training and will re-open on the Wednesday 7th.
Posted at 12:58 on 22/09/2018
Free and confidential sexual and reproductive health services 24 hours a day in Lambeth and Southwark.
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Phone the surgery on 020 7274 4507 or book online