Detection and treatment of dangerous atrial fibrillation is vital
A new blood pressure measuring device that can also detect a dangerous heart condition has been backed by the health watchdog.
New guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) supports the use of the ‘WatchBP Home A’ device by healthcare professionals in primary care to opportunistically detect atrial fibrillation (AF) during measurement of blood pressure.
AF is one of the most common types of abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke if left untreated.
The guidance also recommends that while the device should be considered for use on people with suspected high blood pressure, those with suspected atrial fibrillation should have an electrocardiogram (ECG) in line with other NICE guidelines.
Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This new device won’t replace electrocardiograms but any device that aids in earlier detection of atrial fibrillation should be welcomed.
“Atrial fibrillation is a potentially dangerous condition that affects roughly 1 in 100 people in the UK and can increase four-fold the risk of a stroke. With appropriate treatment that risk can be substantially reduced so early diagnosis is vital.”
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Source: British Heart Foundation