Press releases > Heart Rhythm Week
Roger Gale MP supports Heart Rhythm Week 2012 by signing the Atrial Fibrillation pledge in Parliament
MP for North Thanet, Roger Gale MP, this week lent his support to the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) pledge to help raise awareness of the importance of tackling AF and empowering patients to recognise the signs of a potential heart rhythm disorder. This pledge commits Roger Gale MP to support the work of the Atrial Fibrillation Association in raising awareness of AF and ensuring that early diagnosis, appropriate management and effective treatment is a priority for the NHS. 

The Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) is a UK registered charity which focuses on raising awareness of AF by providing information, education and support materials for patients and medical professionals involved in detecting diagnosing and managing AF. The AFA also works with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Atrial Fibrillation, chaired by Glyn Davies MP, to raise awareness of the condition amongst Parliamentarians. 
The Atrial Fibrillation Association and Arrhythmia Alliance recently held Heart Rhythm Week 2012 where volunteers from across the country took part in a series of events designed to raise awareness about heart rhythm disorders.   These included ‘know your pulse’ sessions which were held in public places such as shopping centres and were designed to encourage patients to self-diagnose whether they are suffering from an irregular pulse. 

Roger Gale MP said:
 
“I am pleased to be able to sign the Atrial Fibrillation Association pledge to help raise awareness of AF within North Thanet. There are currently 13,933 known cases of AF across Eastern Kent, with many more cases remaining undiagnosed.  AF is the most common heart rhythm disorder and is associated with a fivefold increase in stroke risk and costs the NHS £1.8billion per year. In 2010 alone 35 stroke deaths were attributed to AF across Eastern Kent. It is important that we get on top of this problem and by signing this pledge, I commit to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of AF and to help empower patients to take their heart health in their hands.”
 
Trudie Lobban, Chief Executive of the AFA said:
 
“We are delighted that Roger Gale MP had signed the Atrial Fibrillation pledge which supports the ongoing work of the AFA to prioritise treatment for and raise awareness of AF.  AF is one of the major causes of stroke and there are currently 1.5 million people affected across the UK. However one of the major difficulties associated with the condition is a lack of patient awareness and misdiagnosis that can allow many potentially fatal cases of AF to go untreated. In order to improve patient care and prevent stroke it is important that people are aware of the problems associated with an irregular pulse.”
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