Andrew Jones MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough last week took part in an event in Parliament, as part of World Heart Rhythm Week, to help raise awareness of the importance of pulse checks.
The campaign, spearheaded by the charities, Arrhythmia Alliance (the Heart Rhythm Charity) and Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), aims to raise awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common heart rhythm disorder in the UK. Figures published by the Department of Health in 2007 suggested that AF affected in excess of 800,000 people in the UK. However, it is now thought that a more accurate figure may be in excess of one million, with 200,000 patients newly diagnosed each year. AF is also responsible for 18 to 20 per cent of all strokes in the UK.
A simple pulse check is a quick and easy way of detecting AF and other heart rhythm disorders. It only takes four simple steps to learn how to take your pulse: www.knowyourpulse.org By taking your pulse as various points throughout the day, you may be able to detect an unusual heart rate which you had not previously been aware of. In this instance it is advisable to seek advice from you local GP.
Mr Jones said: “It is astonishing to think that a simple pulse check could help diagnose and treat a condition which can have such serious consequences. As Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Stroke, I am aware of the difference that simple health checks can make to stroke prevention through the diagnosis of underlying medical conditions. I would encourage Harrogate and Knaresborough residents to check their pulse and contact their GP if they notice anything usual.”
Trudie Lobban MBE, CEO and founder of the AFA said: “Understanding AF and other heart rhythm disorders can improve a patient’s chance of finding a successful treatment and could save their life. As part of World Heart Rhythm Awareness Week, I urge everyone to take a minute to Know Your Pulse!”