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  • Cases of AFib Increasing in Younger Adults

    According to a study recently published in the medical journal “Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology”, atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is much more common in individuals under the age of 65 than we previously believed. AFib is an abnormal heart rhythm which increases a person’s risk for significant cardiovascular complications, like blood clots, heart failure, heart attack and stroke. Although people are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation as they age, this new study shows how important it is to assess younger individuals for AFib to properly manage risk factors.

    What is AFib?

    Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting the heart’s upper chambers. When AFib occurs, the atria’s (the heart’s two upper chambers) normal beating becomes irregular, which canDizziness prevent blood from properly entering the lower chambers of the heart. Though some people do not experience symptoms, others experience:

    • Chest pain
    • Irregular heart rhythm
    • Light headedness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Heart beating faster than normal
    • Heart’s upper and lower chambers not working together
    • Feels like your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, pounding, or beating too hard or too fast

    Atrial fibrillation on its own is not a major health concern. But, because it can lead to blood clots, heart failure, heart attack, and/or stroke, it is important to receive medical treatment to prevent a poor outcome. Treatment for individuals with atrial fibrillation usually includes medications, procedures to block faulty heart signals, and therapy to shock the heart back into a regular rhythm.

    The Study’s Findings

    The researchers included a total of 67,221 adults in their study. All participants had atrial fibrillation; 17,335 were under 65-years-old. The researchers examined the participants’ hospitalizations, all-cause mortality, and any other cardiac interventions that they received over a time period averaging five years. Not only did the researchers observe that the participants under 65 had an increased mortality risk compared to an internal control population and an increased risk for hospitalization for heart attack, heart failure, and all-cause stroke, but they also had other additional cardiac risk factors, like:

    • 20% had significant obesity
    • 16% were current tobacco smokers
    • 55% had high blood pressure
    • 20% had heart failure
    • 21% had diabetes

    The study’s researchers say their findings suggest how important it is to manage atrial fibrillation in patients under 65 – and that it is important to remember to do so in the context of other cardiovascular risk factors, like diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, etc.

    When to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

    Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider fails to follow their own professional standard of care and causes harm to a patient as a result. Some of the most common types of medical mistakes include a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, and failure to treat. If a person’s doctor fails to diagnose them with atrial fibrillation, for example, and that person experiences a medical complication like a heart attack or stroke, they should consider filing a medical malpractice claim. Similarly, if someone with atrial fibrillation is having a surgical procedure to treat the condition and a provider makes an error with administering anesthesia or medication and the patient is harmed, they should file a medical malpractice claim.

    At Galfand Berger, our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of preventable medical mistakes. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s notable medical malpractice recoveries on behalf of injured clients:

    • Our client’s family member died from a heart attack. Shortly before his death, the family member’s doctor failed to recognize the signs of an impending heart attack, instead diagnosing the individual with indigestion. Our attorneys successfully settled the matter for $800,000.00. Read more about this recovery here:

    If you would like to learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Galfand Berger today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)