I am sorry to hear about your dad's heart problem. I am 30 years old and I have had atrial fibrillation since I was 17 years old. It is not dangerous in itself, since the rhythm originates in the upper chambers of the heart and not the lower chambers. The risk is if a blood clot forms, it could cause a stroke. That's why people with a-fib are usually on aspirin therapy or warfarin. I take a baby aspirin every day because I am not constantly in a-fib. I just get it occassionally and the drugs work pretty well to control it.
I think the other risk is if the arrhythmia continues for years, then it could weaken his heart. But, since he is going in for an echo in a week and they will probably convert him, then I do not think there is a big danger of that happening.
The older a person gets, the more likely he or she is to develop atrial fibrillation. Lots of older people have it, and again, it is not dangerous in and of itself and many times (like in my case), it occurs without any underlying heart disease.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Hopefully this help. Good luck to you!
I agree with the above. I had a single a-fib event in March. Within 24 hours, I was administered IV meds which cardioverted me back into sinus rythm. This cardioversion is done after a confirmation that there are no evident clots developing in the atrium. I would ask why they are not looking to cardiovert earlier than later. Best wishes.
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