7 June 2019


Dave Dewhurst an AF Ambassador testing Trudie Lobban's (founder and trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance) pulse using the ECG device

The Innovation Agency is urging people to know their heart rhythm during World Heart Week and will be testing pulses at Asda in Everton tomorrow.

Arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm disorder) is the number one killer in the UK and causes up to 100,000 sudden cardiac deaths each year, killing more people than breast cancer, lung cancer and Aids combined.

But 80 per cent of these deaths could be avoided if more people were aware of their heart rhythm (and not just their heart rate).

The Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, is this week supporting World Heart Rhythm Week, the brainchild of Arrhythmia Alliance, which highlights the importance of knowing your heart rhythm. 

As part of its stroke prevention programme, the Innovation Agency has rolled out a number of mobile ECG devices to enable healthcare professionals to test pulses for atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular pulse which causes one in five strokes.

It has also recruited a team of volunteer AF Ambassadors who are testing the pulses of family and friends in their communities. They will be offering free pulse tests to the public at Asda on Breck Road in Everton, Liverpool, on Friday 7 June from 10am to 4pm.

But if people can’t get to Asda, they can always check it themselves at home. Checking your pulse can save your life or reduce your risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke – the most severe type of stroke. It only takes 30 seconds and is so simple that people of all ages can learn how to do it

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance, said:

“We know we should eat healthily, exercise more and we all have devices, gadgets, phones, even watches that tell us our heart rate, but how many of us know our heart rhythm?"

"Arrhythmias cause more deaths worldwide than cancer, affecting anyone of any age, yet we choose to ignore the most important organ in our body – our heart. “Our key message this year is We Hear(t) You. We are asking people to ‘listen’ to your heart – is the rhythm too fast? Is it too slow? Is the rhythm irregular? That may be your heart telling you something is wrong.

Anyone can ‘hear’ the rhythm of their heart by simply putting three fingers on their wrist and ‘listening’ to whether it is regular, irregular, too fast, too slow. We all should be able to say ‘We Hear(t) You’ about our own hearts and those of our loved ones – it really is the difference between life and death for so many."

Dr Julia Reynolds, Assistant Director and Head of Programmes at the Innovation Agency, added:

“We are really pleased to be involved with World Heart Rhythm week, which allows us to raise awareness about the importance of heart health and the prevention of illnesses such as atrial fibrillation caused by irregular heartbeat."

"Our AF Ambassadors and our NHS colleagues are out and about raising awareness throughout this week so make sure you check your pulse – it could save your life!”



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