June 4th 2015– A new interdisciplinary Atrial Fibrillation (A-FIB) Clinic is being launched in Tallaght Hospital in June to complement the Hospital’s cardiology and specialist stroke service.
Atrial Fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting up to 5% of those over 60 years and possibly up to 10% of the adult population over 80. Despite this, research at Tallaght Hospital shows that only 30% of Irish adults have heard of the condition and fewer than half of those are aware of its association with the risk of stroke.
Given the importance of A-FIB as a risk factor for stroke and dementia, and the evolution of new anticoagulant treatments and monitoring practices, there is an increased requirement for an interdisciplinary approach to decision making involving Geriatricians, Stroke Physicians, Cardiologists and Haematologists. The new interdisciplinary Atrial Fibrillation Clinic in Tallaght Hospital will bring together all the key specialities required for this improved model of care.
Dr Rónán Collins Director of Stroke services at the Hospital stated: “Atrial Fibrillation is one of our fastest growing chronic diseases and a major public health issue, being associated as a cause in a third of strokes in Ireland. The new multidisciplinary AFIB clinical service in our hospital is committed to developing a comprehensive clinical programme for the detection, treatment and safe anticoagulation of A-FIB. It is also committed to promoting research into the causes, awareness and risk stratification of A-FIB to help develop a real-life registry of its treatment.”
This new clinic will run once a week initially and will be confined to new cases of A-FIB identified within the hospital and at clinics. It is envisaged that the clinic will be rolled out to GPs with an agreed protocol of referral – thereby improving access to the specialist care provided by Tallaght Hospital.
Tallaght Hospital CEO David Slevin welcomed the setting up of the clinic stating “This clinic is an evolution of the exemplary stroke service we provide in Tallaght Hospital. Tallaght Hospital was the first Irish hospital to have a dedicated stroke unit and the service has evolved to become a specialist centre in relation to age-related care. I congratulate Dr Rónán Collins and his team on this initiative and their continued work to address what is a growing medical issue in Ireland.”
Tallaght Hospital and Beacon Hospital are also joint Investigators in the Irish Heart Foundation supported “Stroke Prevention: Community based remote screening for the detection of atrial fibrillation in high risk patients”. This unique five day community based screening project aims to find the prevalence of new atrial fibrillation in patient groups with the significant risk factors of hypertension, diabetes and heart failure and examine the feasibility of a screening programme for the condition.