Three charities have collaborated to launch virtual educational days for patients and the public to draw attention to two of the worlds leading causes of death – sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation.

Sudden cardiac death is the number one killer in the UK and worldwide – claiming more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, flu, pneumonia, car accidents, HIV and house fires combined.

Approximately 15 young people die each week in the UK due to sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac arrest can strike at any time, any place and at any age. For every minute that passes during a sudden cardiac death, the chance of survival decreases by 10%. CPR provides 9% chance of survival. CPR + a defibrillator (AED) = over 50% chance of survival if used within the first few minutes.

Two Actions That Can Save Lives

Two simple things – Know Your Pulse to Know Your Heart Rhythm, and knowing where your nearest AED is so you can act promptly in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest – both these actions can save lives.

The international charities Arrhythmia Alliance, AF Association, and Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures (STARS) launched their virtual Patient Educational Days in October 2021 to help people with heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) better understand their condition and raise greater awareness and prevention of fatal and disabling heart rhythm conditions.

Each charity’s Patient Educational Day involves medical experts providing key information on the detection, diagnosis, and management of specific heart rhythm conditions. 

The Patient Educational Days cover:

Arrhythmia Alliance Patient Educational Day provides information on everything from palpitations, SVT, CPVT, Long QT, Brugada, preventing sudden cardiac death, the impact of COVID-19 on arrhythmias, and the latest technologies and treatments for heart rhythm conditions

AF Association delivers presentations on: Detecting atrial fibrillation (AF), protecting against AF-related strokes, and access to appropriate treatments

STARS educational event focuses on syncope, reflex anoxic seizures, unexplained loss of consciousness (often caused by a potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder which if identified and treated can and does save lives) and Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTs), including the impact of Long COVID

Stop Relying on ‘Dr Google’

An international panel of medical experts is an integral part of the annual Patients Educational Day.

“Heart rhythm disorders are caused by the electrics in the heart vs the plumbing.  Most of us are completely unaware and many will suffer no symptoms until a sudden cardiac arrest (like Christian Eriksen the footballer) or a devastating stroke caused by AF.  We must be more aware to ensure detection of these deadly conditions, leading to diagnosis and correct the irregular heart rhythm. These events are a much better resource of information than ‘Dr Google’ because they give accurate and direct reliable information from international medical experts, plus patients also share their stories and experiences. There is so much we can do to save lives, so we encourage everyone to register to find out more.” 

Mrs Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance, Founder and CEO of AF Association, and STARS.

Don’t let the one you love be the one you lose. All three charities have been delivering Patient Educational Days for 27 years as part of the Arrhythmia Alliance Heart Rhythm Congress which is a four-day event – one day dedicated to patients and carers and three days dedicated to healthcare professionals – a unique collaboration not seen at any other medical congress in the world. Due to the ongoing pandemic these events are virtual, and one benefit is that people can watch and learn from the heart rhythm specialists at a time and date that suits them, from the comfort of their own home.

People can access all three Patient Educational Days for a £20 contribution to the charity of their choice (Arrhythmia Alliance, AF Association, or STARS). The money raised will be used to support the charities’ dedicated helplines, support services and placement of defibrillators (AEDs) in communities.

The Patient Educational Days’ content is available, on-demand, for 12 months from its launch on 03 October 2021.

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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