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The Challenge of Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland Essay Sample 

The following essay work shall focus upon statistical data of Irish patients with Atrial Fibrillation and challenges for the health care unit of Ireland for treatment. It shall also include Irish Cardiovascular Health Policy and the HSE National Stroke Programme.

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Atrial Fibrillation or Arrhythmia is a common heart ailment around the globe which is posing as a major challenge for the world health care sector.

It is a condition of irregular heart rhythm disorder which is caused due to many underlying conditions in the body.

In Ireland, at least 3% of the Irish adults over 60 years of age is affected by Atrial Fibrillation. At least one stroke out of three cases is due to Atrial fibrillation condition imposing a major threat and challenge for the Irish health care system.

For combating the issue of Atrial Fibrillation and it’s increasing the number of cases in Ireland. The National Clinical Programme for Stroke has launched an initiative of Stroke Prevention and Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland. It addresses the prevention, treatment and cure of Arrhythmia patients in Ireland.

Every year there is a 4% increase in the rate of this condition in older adults of 65 above years age group in Ireland.

AFib or Atrial Fibrillation Statistics in Ireland 

  • The Central Statistics Office has predicted that over 65 years old age group will comprise of 21.5 or 27.9% of the Irish population by 2046 which will eventually raise the chances of public health risk and concern.
  • The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing estimates that population of over 50 years age whose 3.2%, 5.3 % over 65 years age and 11% of those above 80 years of age will be affected by the condition of Atrial Fibrillation. It excludes the patients who are already admitted into the hospitals and health units.
  • The first study of Atrial Fibrillation Screening in General Practice of Ireland shows that there were 50 new cases of Arrhythmia with an incidence rate of 17/100 over 65 years of age out of which 49% of them are male.
  • The cardiovascular risk in the Irish population was screened on the basis of smoking and alcohol drinking habits.

Smoking is done by males more than the female population which accounts for 10.5% in males and 7.6% in females. About 55% of consumed alcohol among them 81% consumed less than 14 units per week is again higher in males than females.

  • The study shows that 95% of the Arrhythmia patients are at a high health risk and needs to be considered for anticoagulation therapy.

The Irish Cardiovascular Health Policy 

The primary healthcare sector and it’s services are being prioritized by the ‘Changing Cardiovascular Health Policy’ in Ireland.

This health policy focuses upon the early detection, screening and management of the blood sugar level or pressure. It also provides the anti-thrombotic therapy for the Atrial Fibrillation patients with a high risk of stroke.

It aims at improving the services of the primary health care sector through early detection of Atrial Fibrillation and clinical leadership of integrated anti-coagulation services for patients of above 65 years.

The National Stroke Programme in Ireland 

In the year 2010, health service executive came up with the idea of introducing programmes to address the health-related issues by providing standards and range of clinical services in Ireland.

This programme is meant for the management of chronic diseases were both Atrial Fibrillation and Ischaemic attack are being prioritised.

The Stroke Prevention Working Group under this programme includes healthcare staff from the different fields of A Fib which includes primary care, hospital care, pharmacology, public health and cardiologists.

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) or Arrhythmia Diagnosis and Treatment by the Irish Healthcare System

Diagnosis of Arrhythmia 

AFib or Atrial Fibrillation can be sometimes be easily diagnosed or not even detected in some cases.

The diagnosis is done through relevant clinical history of the patient, symptoms, family history, and any pre-treatment for other underlying conditions along with the complete physical examination and early detection of an irregular pulse.

The two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiogram is used for the purpose of detecting any underlying health conditions and functioning of the heart.

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Treatment provided to the  Arrhythmia patients

  • The primary healthcare units and hospital setting can provide proper medical procedures and pharmaceutical agents to control the heart condition along with a lifestyle change.

For the heart rate to be controlled agents like beta-blockers, digoxin, or calcium channel blockers are provided. It improves the symptoms of the heart condition and not cures the condition itself.

  • Controlling the heart rate rhythm through the effective medication of amiodarone and sotalol for facilitating the pumping of blood throughout the body. It can also be controlled by cardioversion, maze surgery or catheter ablation.
  • Using anticoagulants for the prevention of blood clots formation to reduce the risk of stroke by almost 70% in an adult with Atrial Fibrillation.
  • Treating first the underlying diseases promoting to the risk of Arrhythmia and stroke.

Anticoagulation Therapy Usage in Ireland 

The overall rate of treatment with the anticoagulants is almost 31% approximately in the Atrial Fibrillation patients in Ireland. It is a very low usage of anticoagulants in AF patients.

A large number of AF patients in Ireland remain undetected and undertreated with this therapy.

The North Dublin Population Stroke Study identifies that out of already existing Atrial Fibrillation patients, 28% were on oral coagulants, 55% on antiplatelet therapy, and 17% didn’t get any treatment.

Irish National Audit of Stroke Care reported that out of 2,173 stroke patients 22% of them were AF patients. 26% of such AF patients were on warfarin, 57% on antiplatelet therapy, and 22% on none of them.

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The above essay sample focuses on the challenges related to Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland.

Healthcare QQI, Healthcare Support QQI Level 5, Wellbeing, Community and Health Services QQI Level 5, Careskills, Care Assistant Course QQI Level 5, Nursing QQI Level 5, Medical Terminology and Administration QQI Level 5 students can read this sample to understand the health condition of Irish people.

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