Atrial Fibrillation

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Cardiac dysrhythmias come in different degrees of severity. There are heart conditions that you are able to live with and manage on a daily basis and those that require immediate attention. Atrial Fibrillation is one of the more frequently seen types of dysrhythmias (NIH, 2011). The best way to diagnosis a heart condition is by reading a cardiac strip (Ignatavicius &Workman, 2013). Cardiac strips play an chief part in the nursing world allowing the nurse and other trained medical professionals to interpret what the heart is doing. In a normal strip, one can clearly identify a P wave before every QRS complex, which is then followed by a T wave; in Atrial Fibrillation, the Sinoatrial node fires irregularly causing there to be no clear P wave and an irregular QRS complex (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013). Basically, it means that the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, are contracting too quickly and no clear P wave is identified because of this ‘fibrillation’ (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013). Clinical Manifestations and Pathophysiology A normal heart rhythm begins at the sinoatrial node and follows the hearts conduction pathway without any problems. Typically the sinoatrial node fires between 60-100 times per minute (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013). When a person has Atrial Fibrillation, the sinoatrial node releases multiple quick impulses at a rate of 350 -600 times per minute. When this happens, the ventricles respond by beating around 120- 200 beats per minute, making it tough to identify an accurate heart rate. This arrhythmia can be the result of various things. During a normal heart beat, the electrical impulse begins at the sinoatrial node and travels down the conduction pathway until the ventricles contract. Once that happe... ... middle of paper ... ...lso recommended not only for patients with dysrhythmias, but for everyone. It promotes a positive attitude, gets the blood flowing and is shown to reduce stress levels (Shea & Sears, 2008) Conclusion As mentioned earlier, Atrial Fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac dysrhythmias in the world. It is easily treatment and managed as long as the patient follows the advice of medical professionals. The exact cause and triggers of atrial fibrillation are unknown and are still being researched today. Through patient education, medication regimen, healthy diet, understanding your condition, and being conscious of your emotional health are crucial when it comes to the management of atrial fibrillation. Works Cited Ignatavicius, D. D., & Workman, M. L. (2013). Medical-surgical nursing: patient-centered collaborative care (7th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders.
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