.We have simplified prevention of heart disease to one simple slogan. Say no to these 6S- salt, sugar, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress and saturated fats,” says Dr. Ramakrishnan
“Atrial fibrillation is the condition of blood clotting due to chaotic ‘out-of-rhythm’ contraction of the atria. Blood is not pumped forward due to irregular contractions resulting in statis (a slowdown or stoppage in blood flow) and in turn, formation of blood clot. The condition of a stroke or TIA occurs when this blood clot ends up in a brain artery,” he explains atrial fibrillation.
Regarding drug therapy for atrial fibrillation, Dr. Ramakrishnan says, “Blood thinners or oral anticoagulants are used to prevent blood from clotting. But the problem with anticoagulation is that, they have a narrow therapeutic range. In the effect range (optimum dose), they prevent stroke but in the complication range (excess dose), they cause bleeding. This narrow window between blood clot prevention and bleeding is maintained by regular INR (International Normalized Ratio) monitoring.”
“It is the lack of compliance and irregular INR monitoring that causes complications most times. But even after having maintained INR levels, many patients develop strokes or present with bleeding complications due to erroneous INR readings,” he elucidates problems encountered in anticoagulation.
“The new oral anticoagulants have shown higher efficacy and greater safety but their high costs are prohibitive