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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

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Atrial Fibrillation - When to Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you:

  • Have symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, and nausea.
  • Have symptoms of a stroke, such as sudden vision changes; trouble speaking; or numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face or an arm or a leg.
  • Feel faint and have an irregular heartbeat.

If you see someone pass out, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

Recommended Related to Atrial Fibrillation

What Happens During Surgical Ablation?

If you have an irregular heartbeat caused by atrial fibrillation (AFib), you may need surgery to make your heart rhythm normal again. This is called surgical ablation. It’s usually a treatment your doctor will try if other things like medications, cardioversion therapy, or catheter ablation have not worked. Most people who have AFib will not need surgical ablation.

Read the What Happens During Surgical Ablation? article > >

Call your doctor if you have:

  • An irregular heart rate.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Periods of unexplained lightheadedness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • An episode of fainting or you come close to fainting for no apparent reason.
  • Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise.

If you take a blood thinner

If you take blood-thinning medicine, such as an anticoagulant or aspirin, watch for signs of bleeding.

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you:

  • You have a sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches. (It may be a sign of bleeding in the brain.)

Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual bleeding, such as:

  • Nosebleeds.
  • Vaginal bleeding that is different (heavier, more frequent, at a different time of the month) than what you are used to.
  • Bloody or black stools, or rectal bleeding.
  • Bloody or pink urine.

Who to see

The following health professionals can detect, diagnose and, in some cases, treat atrial fibrillation:

The following specialists can treat people who have severe symptoms:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: /2, 14 1
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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