Patient and professional organizations from around the world have launched a new online campaign to support a growing need to tackle atrial fibrillation (AF), an abnormal heart rhythm that can increase the risk of a stroke by 500 percent.
Professionals from 39 countries came together to launch the scheme at the World Heart Federation’s World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions 2012, in Dubai on April 23.
They called for global action by launching a Patient Charter, which works with the Sign Against Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation campaign. This campaign calls to address AF, offering strategies and solutions that could save the lives on millions of people.
Tens of millions of people are affected by AF around the globe, an event that can cause the two upper chambers of the heart to quiver instead of beating effectively, which results in blood pooling and clotting. These clots can travel to the brain causing fatal strokes.
“It is so exciting to see the groundswell of support for the Charter around the globe,” commented the founder and CEO of StopAfib.org Mellanie True Hills, after 2,000 people expressed their support by signing the Charter within 48 hours of the launch.
“By signing the Charter, you make a difference, demanding action and helping to raise awareness of this condition that destroys so many lives.”
The Charter can be found at www.signagainststroke.com.
AF-related strokes are much more serious than those resulting from other causes. Therefore, those suffering from AF-related strokes will be more likely to have long lasting conditions relating back to AF. With more education on the subject, and with greater research for successful diagnosis and treatment, the impact of AF could be significantly reduced.
Healthcare professionals are also emphasising that AF has no geographical, gender, or socioeconomic boundaries.
The Sign Against Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation campaign supporting the Charter hopes to gather support from around the world by highlighting its five critical recommendations.
These include implementing public information and education campaigns to raise awareness of AF, making AF-related stroke treatment a priority at a national level, and ensuring the availability of technologies that improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of people with AF.
The campaign is being supported by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Dr Flemming Ornskov, head of General Healthcare at Bayer, commented that Bayer is proud to support such a important campaign, but it will require co-operation between everybody in the industry.
“Improving patient outcomes is of utmost importance. However, it will require everybody to work together, patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and industry. None of us can achieve this alone.”