In the past decade, emergency department visits directly due to atrial fibrillation have increased by more than 33 percent. Given this, Corey M. Slovis, MD, FACEP, professor and chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said emergency physicians need to be experts in managing it. That will be the focus of his talk, “Atrial Fibrillation Update 2017: Don’t Miss a Beat.”
Specifically, emergency physicians should know that newer oral anticoagulants are now available; vitamin K antagonists are no longer the only drugs to treat it. “Newer medications have dramatically changed how we discharge patients on anticoagulation medication,” he said.
Dr. Slovis said emergency physicians in the past often deferred the decision to anticoagulate to the patient’s cardiologist. “But it may take weeks or months to become anticoagulated, leaving them at great risk of having a stroke,” he said. “Therefore, as emergency physicians, we need to know who to anticoagulate, how to anticoagulate, and when they need follow-up.”
Another key message is to treat the underlying disease causing a rapid ventricular response, not the arrhythmia. “Treat the disease in order to make the atrial fibrillation better or cure it,” he said.
Dr. Slovis will base his talk on findings from the 2014 Atrial Fibrillation Guideline from the American College of Cardiology. He has spent considerable time diagnosing, treating, and teaching about cardiovascular emergencies.
Atrial Fibrillation Update 2017:
Don’t Miss a Beat
Tuesday, Oct. 31
WCC, Room 146B