News - Hundreds of heartbeats in South London checked to avoid strokes

We believe that there are 68,000 people across London with an undetected irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation (AF), which puts them at risk of having a stroke.

At least 574 people had their pulses checked across locations in South London as part of a London-wide drive to raise awareness of heart rhythm disorders during Heart Rhythm Week.

NHS staff across London raised awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and provided education on the link between AF and stroke.  They demonstrated to the public how they can check the rhythm of their pulse manually and record this using a single lead ECG with smartphone technology. Testing was carried out in 8 locations by partners of the Health innovation network, with a number of people having possible AF detected during the events.

Across London the figure stood at 1,525 although this is expected to rise as numbers come in from different locations after Londoners were invited to take a free, 30 second pulse check that could prolong or even save their life.

Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmia) happen when a heart rhythm is too fast, too slow, or jumping around (irregular).

NHS staff across London raised awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and provided education on the link between AF and stroke.  They demonstrated to the public how they can check the rhythm of their pulse manually and record this using a single lead ECG with smartphone technology.

Helen Williams, Clinical Lead for AF and Stroke Prevention at Health Innovation Network, said:  “AF is an underlying cause in 1 in 5 strokes.  AF related stroke carries a high risk of death and disability.  Over 65’s are at greater risk of AF and it is often asymptomatic, therefore raising public awareness and offering free pulse rhythm checks is essential.” 

Watch our video here.

21 June, 2017