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Key messages

When a patient presents to an emergency department or urgent care centre, they should be given the best available information.

This updated fact sheet helps ensure clinicians and patients have access to easy-to-read information about different emergency conditions.

Give this fact sheet to your patients when discharging them from an emergency department or urgent care centre.

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    Download our fact sheet to provide your patients with easy to follow guidance on atrial fibrillation.

    This fact sheet has the #withconsumers tick from the Consumers Health Forum of Australia

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common and important disturbance of the heart’s electrical system.

    In normal heart rhythm (known as sinus rhythm) the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) control the heartbeat. In AF, the electrical activity of the atria is disorganised, causing the atria to ‘flutter’, or in medical terms, ‘fibrillate’ (see Figure 1). The atrial rhythm becomes rapid and irregular, and this irregularity is passed on to the main pumping chambers. When AF occurs, the pulse becomes irregular and the heart is less efficient.

    Patient fact sheet

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    Centre of Clinical Excellence - Acute
    Safer Care Victoria

    Page last updated: 15 Jan 2021

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