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Atrial Fibrillation - When to Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you:

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

Recommended Related to Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Myths and Facts

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, happens when your normal heart beat or rhythm is changed and may not be able to pump enough blood. About 1% of Americans have AFib. Millions of people with long-lasting AFib live quite well, said Gordon F. Tomaselli, MD, director of the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a past president of the American Heart Association. "It's very possible to live a normal life for many years." If you or someone you know has been...

Read the Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Myths and Facts article > >

Call your doctor if you have:

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 if:

  • You cough up blood.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
  • You pass maroon or very bloody stools.
  • 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 new bruises or blood spots under your skin.
  • You have a nosebleed that doesn't stop quickly.
  • Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • Your stools are black and look like tar or have streaks of blood.
  • You have heavy period bleeding or vaginal bleeding when you are not having your period.

If you are injured, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Realize that it will take longer than you are used to for the bleeding to stop. If you can't get the bleeding to stop, call your doctor.

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:

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 05, 2013
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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