November 16th – 22nd 2020 is Global Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week

Today marks the start of Global AF Aware Week 2020, the annual awareness campaign to bring attention to the most common arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, which can affect adults of any age. To mark the start of the week, The AF Association has published its annual Healthcare Pioneers Report to showcase the most innovative approaches to detecting and managing atrial fibrillation

The aim is to provide models of best practice that other centres, across the globe, can adapt to improve the care and quality of life with people with AF.
Professor Gregory Lip, Director of the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science, and his colleagues have been selected as one of this year’s AF Association’s Healthcare Pioneers.

Their work, The NIHR Global Health Research Group on AF management: Defining AF care in Brazil, China, and Sri Lanka has been published in the Association Healthcare Pioneers Report: Showcasing best practice in AF 2021. Prof Lip and colleagues, including Trudie Lobban Founder and CEO of AF Association, are working to identify keys aspects of the detection and management of AF with the aim of bringing about changes that will benefit patients and that will influence future methods of AF care.

Throughout the NIHR-funded, three-year programme, the group have worked with partners, patients and carers to address country-specific (across Brazil, China, and Sri Lanka) training needs, define co-developed key research questions to assess needs, and implement effective value for money projects.
An international panel of judges selected the case studies from more than 25 submissions across the globe.

The judges were tasked with the difficult challenge of identifying case studies that showcased the most original and effective approaches to improving the management of AF. They specifically looked for Healthcare Pioneers who focused on meeting the needs and wants of patients in their approaches. Mrs Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of AF Association said: “Despite great progress in the detection and management of AF, the need to identify people with undiagnosed AF remains critical.

“We need to ensure that all people with AF receive the appropriate antithrombotic therapies to Protect against AF-related stroke and have access to the right treatments to Correct the irregular rhythm. Therefore, we publish the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report: Showcasing best practice in AF 2021 to highlight leading centres that have established innovative and positive advances in the diagnosis and management of AF.”

She added that the AF Association was grateful to all those who submitted case studies for the report this year and congratulated “the 11 winners who demonstrate excellent good clinical practice and the development of AF services to improve patient outcomes and quality of life”.

Professor John Camm of St George’s University of London, said: “The Healthcare Pioneer Report initiative encourages healthcare professionals to showcase their best examples of recent developments in the health care of patients with AF.

“This global disease has reached epidemic proportions and we all need to pick up good methods of caring for people with this heart rhythm disturbance. When you read the report, you will appreciate the wide range of opportunities and solutions that have been described. Well done to all of you who submitted your ideas and on how they have worked out in practice.”

Applications for the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2022 will open in March 2021 and the winners will be announced during Global AF Aware Week 2021, AF is the most common type of arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm disorder) worldwide, affecting about between two and four per cent of all adults.
It causes significant mortality and morbidity, with the risk of AF-related stroke being the greatest concern. If not receiving therapy, a person with AF may be up to five times more likely to have an ischaemic stroke than someone without AF.

Furthermore, AF-related strokes are devastating.

Also, as AF can be asymptomatic, many people do not discover that they have AF until they have had an AF-related stroke. Therefore, AF Association raises awareness of the need to Detect AF with a simple pulse check to Protect against AF-related stroke with anticoagulation and Correct the irregular rhythm with access appropriate treatments, so that we can Perfect the patient care pathway.