Warwickshire North residents are being encouraged to be on the pulse during Heart Rhythm Week, which takes place from 3-9 June.
NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the campaign which reminds people that knowing their pulse could prove to be a life-saver and reduce the risk of a stroke.
Arrhythmias or heart rhythm problems are experienced by more than 2 million people a year in the UK*. Most people with an abnormal heart rhythm can lead a normal life if it is properly diagnosed.
An irregular pulse could be a sign that a person has an abnormal heart rhythm. Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke which is why checking the pulse regularly is so important. Latest statistics show that there were over 4,000 expected cases of AF* in Warwickshire North.
The easiest way to check the pulse is on the wrist, just below the base of the thumb. People can feel their pulse in other areas of the body, including the crease of the elbow, in the groin or behind the knee. It’s normal for the pulse rate to change during the day depending on what activity a person is doing, but it should generally be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Information on how to work out a pulse in four steps is available at http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/uk/heart-rhythm-week
A spokesperson for NHS Warwickshire North CCG said:
“We are urging people in Warwickshire North to get into the habit of checking their pulse regularly. Checking the pulse is simple, it only takes one minute out of the day, preferably first thing in the morning and just before going to bed. One minute could be the difference between knowing if the pulse is regular or irregular.
“AF, or irregular heartbeat, is a serious heart condition which can cause a stroke if left untreated. A person with AF is five times more likely to have a stroke and AF contributes to just under 20% of all strokes in the UK***.
“Some people with AF have no symptoms and are completely unaware they have the condition, but it is very important to get AF diagnosed. It is simple to treat – most cases simply require medication – and that treatment could prevent a stroke.”
People can find out how to take their pulse by watching this special video at https://youtu.be/ZvkIMdF7M20
World Heart Rhythm Week is an annual event that is organised by the Arrhythmia Alliance to help raise awareness of how to detect, protect and correct heart rhythm disorders. For more information visit http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/uk/heart-rhythm-week