Stroke prevention help on hand at local events this week- check your heartbeat in 30 seconds

East Anglian residents are invited to check their heart rhythm and learn more about heart health and stroke prevention with health professionals in West Suffolk this weekend.

The AliveCor ECG device in use

If you are heading down to the East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival on Friday evening or the Bury St Edmunds parkrun this Saturday, come and have a free heart rhythm test. You only need 30 seconds to try out the Kardia Mobile AliveCor ECG device, which Eastern Academic Health Science Network is rolling out across the eastern region to improve detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) – a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate, which can lead to stroke.

About 1.4 million people in England have atrial fibrillation which equates to around 2.5% of the population.

Across England about 425,000 people are living undiagnosed with the condition.

West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with the My WiSH Charity and the cardiology team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to partner up local stroke prevention work with the Every Heart Matters appeal – two great reasons to come and visit My WiSH when they takeover Bury St Edmunds parkrun on Saturday.

On behalf of the stroke prevention team at West Suffolk CCG, Claire Jay, programme lead said:

“We invite you to visit the Upbeat stand at the Beer Festival and the My WiSH Charity stand at parkrun: please take the opportunity to pop over for a quick chat with the team from West Suffolk Hospital and get an ECG check.  No appointment needed, plus it’s a free test which will only take 30 seconds, and it could save your life! Help spread the word about irregular heart rhythms and encourage your friends and family – particularly those aged over 65 years – to check their pulse and see a GP if it is irregular. Pulse checks are easy to do yourself.”

As the most common type of irregular heart rhythm, AF is responsible for about 20% of all strokes. Eastern AHSN is working with West Suffolk CCG to ensure support for stroke prevention is available for East Anglian residents and distributing mobile ECG devices across the region as part of the national mobile ECG device roll-out supported by NHS England.

Mobile ECG devices can help NHS staff detect an irregular heartbeat in just 30 seconds, and can save lives by preventing strokes for hundreds of people through detection and appropriate treatment.

Dr Amanda Buttery, Atrial Fibrillation Programme Lead for Eastern AHSN said:

“More than 40,000 people throughout the east of England are unaware they have irregular heart rhythms and of the dangers that this can pose to their health, including the risk of stroke. You only need 30 seconds to check your heart rhythm with these mobile ECG devices are small and easy-to-use with no gels or wires, so NHS staff can use them with people at risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke in the community or on home visits. It’s great to see them being used this weekend to help raise awareness about atrial fibrillation among East Anglian residents at these fun local events.”

My WiSH Charity have also been invited to attend the WI Conference at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds next week on Wednesday 25 April, 12pm – 2pm. West Suffolk CCG will be supporting them and offering an opportunity for members to check their heart rhythm.

Early detection and diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation is essential to access appropriate treatment including anticoagulation therapy to avoid preventable stroke. The Know Your Pulse campaign encourages everyone to be aware of their pulse rate so they can detect any irregularity and seek medical attention. Checking your pulse is quick and easy to do, use the video guide here provided by the Arrhythmia Alliance to help you.

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