AF screening could prevent 4,500 strokes a year

Opportunistic screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients aged over 65 could help to prevent up to 4,500 strokes a year, according to NHS Evidence.

Dr Gillian Leng: Using pulse palpitation in primary care would result in savings and improvements in care

Using pulse palpation in primary care could improve detection of AF, NHS Evidence said.

One stroke would be prevented for every 37 people screened, NHS Evidence estimated. In addition, savings of around £134.5m a year could be made through earlier detection and treatment.

Detail of the potential benefits of AF screening are included in new quality and productivity documents. These provide examples of how services can be improved across the NHS.

Dr Gillian Leng, chief operating officer for NHS Evidence, said: ‘By implementing the types of advice provided in the quality and productivity collection, NHS organisations should see real savings at a local level and, ultimately, patients should see improvements in the care they receive.'

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